Problems have the potential of turning into possibilities. In the fall of 1993, it was discovered that the back foundation of my house was falling in on itself. In the challenge of repairing it I was very thankful for my neighbor, Al LaPlante, who was agreeable to being hired for the job and agreed to put up with me as an assistant. Not only was the wall reinforced but we were able to get to know each other, a gift far greater than simply the job at hand.
During this repair we had much time to talk. Al shared his sorrow at meeting a young man in town who was basically kicked out of his house when mom got a new boyfriend and Al met this young man as he was out walking around the town around 4 in the morning. In talking it was clear to us that growing up in a small town could either be a grand experience and opportunity or a nightmare that just spirals downward.
As a pastor of a church, I was aware of many people who had moved to the area and who had not gone to the local schools, nor had their children go to the local schools. There were differing worlds living side by side of people who grew up here and who moved here but really didn't have a way of meeting the young people they met day to day at the stores and on the streets. If there was a way to connect some of these people, various adults who have a wealth of experience, insights and concern with some of the young people who were slipping through the cracks and sometimes falling headlong into the chasm of self destruction created by limited options and negative stereotypes and we might make a big difference. I wondered at how we could bring these various worlds together, how we could get out of town and spend time together. Al, who was also a Maine guide, suggested we go out into the woods somewhere.
The idea kept brewing within me, but didn't know where to go or how to take the next step, until I met Jack Carpenter who had recently moved to the area. His deep commitment to youth in need and his understanding of the great role a mentor could make in a young person's life was the match that made an idle idea take fire.
Al saw the need and was willing to share his concern, I could see a possibility and a vision, and then there was Jack who could make things happen. We each had a piece, and it was only in sharing our limitations that led to the others with the gifts to take it further that made this happen. We each added our piece and since then many others have added their gifts, especially Don Carpenter who has made this program into a reality and a force that has helped mold a community. Check it out at Trekkersonline.com