Lisa, Julian Price
Blue Ridge Parkway, VA, NC, 2011 & 2012
What about your summer in the Blue Ridge Parkway surprised you?
Going into the summer, I was pretty ignorant about North Carolina. I didn't even know that they had mountains. I was delighted to find that there are numerous different ways to enjoy the outdoors in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I enjoyed my old standby: hiking. But I also loved trying many new things such as rock climbing and sliding down waterfalls. I definitely did not expect to start learning how to fly-fish, but I did. And it is awesome!
What did you learn this summer and how will it affect your life in the future?
I was really grateful for the many opportunities that I had to verbally share about my faith. I feel like I am much more comfortable in speaking to people about God in a tactful yet unapologetic way even when they are not in agreement with my beliefs now... I used to avoid engaging in conversations on topics where I knew there would be disagreement, but now I am more willing to step outside of my comfort zone by engaging in controversial dialogue when I think that it would be edifying. [In the future] I will talk about my faith more rather than being reticent to talk when my audience may not be in perfect agreement with my beliefs. But, I will admit when I do not know something. I also want to be careful in how I use sarcasm.
What advice can you give to future team members in the Blue Ridge Parkway?
Take initiative in enjoying the area and bringing others with you. Don't wait for someone else to invite you to go hiking or swimming but be proactive in finding places to go and then inviting them. One of our colleagues who was there for his third or fourth year told me that he had been wanting to go hiking but didn't have anyone to go with and didn't know where to go. I took him along with me and we became hiking and rock climbing buddies for the rest of the season. It was great! Some people just need some impetus and you never know when you might be the one to supply it. Just because they haven't done something before doesn't mean that they wouldn't like to do it if they were asked.