There’s a light snow falling and the temperature is hovering around 20 degrees. A winter sun is wrestling with the cloud cover. Eight adults are shivering but only partially from the cold. Hopping and hand clapping keeps them warm. All of them are smiling and excited. They are waiting at Outpost for their student to do the “run in” – the race from Grad Camp into the arms of waiting parents.

Later tonight there will be stories and smiles. There will be pictures and laughter as students try to teach their parents how to bow a fire. There will be letters and dreams to share. For some, there will be attempts at the same “center of the universe” thinking that landed them at RedCliff to begin with. Others will begin speaking a language new to their relationship – mutual respect.

For these seven students their wilderness experience is over. Now the real work begins. To parents and students we send our best wishes and hopes that your dreams come true. In the cold and the snow, through the heat and the fatigue, we have given you opportunities to acquire the tools you will need for a happy life. We hope you will use them.