Some years ago, we had Jimmy Meeks visit our elk camp. Jimmy had never climbed to the top of a mountain, so I took him up one. We slowly hunted our way up, encountering the hardships of mountaineering. Finally, Jimmy got to stand on top of that mountain. He understood the reality of coming hardships when I told him we would hunt that mountain top meadow until dark.
We had come up the south side of that mountain but would go down the east (steeper) side where I had arranged for one of my sons to pick us up that night. After dark, we headed down through dark timber that demands experience, mountaineering skills and confidence to navigate; long, steep and rugged with no trail.
Though Jimmy was unfamiliar with the country or mountain navigation, I was. I knew where we started and where we needed to be. Jimmy asked (a few times) how I knew we were going the right way. I explained we must continue east, so keeping the north star 90 degrees to my left (and compass checks) was critical. He questioned if I was looking at the right star.
Jimmy was losing confidence we were proceeding right. It’s tough to place trust in others. It’s tougher knowing you are the one responsible.
I continued confidently. Even in the dark I often recognize things I’ve seen before, but that night the north star was the only thing I ever saw that was familiar. With diminished energy, torn clothes, cut skin, hunger and aching muscles, I had us take a long break. Rested, I told Jimmy to be quiet and listen.
I took out my bugle tube and let out a long, loud bull elk bugle, then held up my hand indicating to Jimmy to remain silent. Then came a long lone answer from directly ahead. I looked at Jimmy with my headlamp. His eyes were wide as saucers. “What was that?” he asked. “That’s my son. We’re close.”
20 minutes later we were setting in the truck heading to camp.
Think about it.
When you are in a situation you are unfamiliar with, trust someone who has been there and done that. It works for mountain navigation, marriage, raising kids, health, career, weight loss or fishing.
And it’s a benefit of FBSN membership. There isn’t a church security situation that some member hasn’t navigated before.