St. Mark 1997 Camping Trip Highlights

On July 25th through 27th, St. Mark traveled to Portola State Park for their annual camping trip. In addition to the St. Mark campers, we also had members from Mt. Olive in Milpitas, Bethel in Cupertino and Holy Cross in Los Gatos. In all, approximately 50 campers made the trip for the weekend.

Throughout the weekend, the adults, youth and children spent many hours hiking through the beautiful forests at Portola State Park. The experience of hiking through God's vast and beautiful creation was enjoyed by all, as these photos show.

As one hiked through God's creation, it was hard to fathom how one could believe in evolution and that all those things that we were witnessing were simply there by chance.


Throughout the park we saw many spectacular sights, including logs with mushrooms growing from them and the kids favorite, the banana slug. In fact, for those that attended the night's nature talk, they were given the opportunity to learn the Banana Slug Song!

Besides the banana slug, the most talked about 'animal' was our camp mascot, the raccoon. Most of our campers would agree that the raccoon was most bold in his tactics as he walked from table to table inspecting the food and drinks that everyone had brought, without a care in the world that we were watching him and trying to scare him away. On both nights, after all the lights were out, we would continue to hear him as he continued to scout our site.


After a full day of hiking in the forest and playing at the campsite, everyone was prepared for a well deserved rest.

For some, the perfect rest was simply sitting around and discussing whatever was on their mind. Others took the opportunity to play an animated game of Cribbage, while others took the chance to play one more game of catch.

Finally, for one, the perfect relaxation was time away from all for a quick electronic game. Wait a minute! Weren't we supposed to leave that stuff at home!!!

Having a complete day of exercise, followed by a leisurely period at the campsite, our campers spent the evening on star filled walks, by attending the nature talk (the most enjoyed was on the banana slug!!) and by spending time around the campfire.

Although talking was a favorite among the adults, the children and youth's favorite campfire activity was roasting marshmallows and making s'mores (roasted marshmallows with chocolate in between two graham crackers). Although the s'mores were delicious, the kids had more fun in the making as can be witnessed by two of the photographs.

By the end of the evening, both adults and children were more than willing to call it a day, return to their tents and crawl into their sleeping bags for a well deserved rest. Now where was that raccoon...

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