Treasures and Atrocities At the Summit

I was Girl Scouts for many years. Along with camping, sewing, summer camps, and cookie sales, my troop did a lot hiking. One of our favorite trails was Squaw Peak.

I remember watching Bank One Ballpark, home of the Diamondback’s baseball team, being built, circa 1996-1997. I also remember squealing when my friends and I found a soiled pair of underwear at the summit.

However, my most vivid memory is the first time I encountered the railing. You see, Phoenix mountains are exceptionally rocky. Hiking is not so much trotting up a dirt path as climbing over massive boulders. As a child, navigating up the massive rocks meant putting my faith in the railing, often just a a foot or two from a steep fall off point. It was scary!

I desperately wanted to earn my badge. I also didn’t want to be the only girl to chicken out. So, I climbed that mountain. And, once I’d done it once, it wasn’t so bad. I already couldn’t wait to do it again.

What other treasures and atrocities might we find? There was always something new at the summit.

As children, we’re faced with new challenges each day, whether it’s a new lesson in school, being asked to try a new food, or experiencing the loss of a loved one for the first times. As adults, these experience don’t arrive quite so often, and our incentive to keep learning and growing may be much lower. Yet, the effort may be worth it.

The theme for May on the Heart of the Matter is Growth, and today I’ve written about employing a growth mindset in Bafflement Can Be a Blessing. Come join us in the discussion!

17 thoughts on “Treasures and Atrocities At the Summit

Add yours

  1. Treasures at the summit… and all the way up and down the mountain too! Proverbially that is!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love what Tamara and Ally offered — treasures at the summit and the reminder to stay open…avoid becoming a fossil! How perfect, given what you’ve shared, Erin, and the photos of the terrain? Whoa. I’d put my trust in the railing, too…and I think I’d be white-knuckling my way to the summit…and on the way back down. I’m grateful that my Midwestern Girl Scout experiences focused on the less adventurous activities – cookie sales, sewing, etc. to earn badges but not scaling cliffs! LOL! xo! 🤣🥰🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes Erin- there is ALWAYS something new to be found, learned or experienced if we stay open. That rocky outcrop looks so deceiving in that picture. I can only imagine what we aren’t seeing and how tightly I would be clinging to the handrail- which is a brilliant idea btw. Kudos to whatever park service entity decided to put it there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there are so many amazing things around us if we just keep our eyes open. The railing really is brilliant! There are some folks that run up and down the mountains like it’s nothing, but most of us are thanking the park services for making the trails a bit more manageable.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love it!! Always something fun to find at the summit! There’s a peak in my area that has a mailbox and people put all sorts of things in the box – like Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” What a fun post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how fun!! I love the mailbox idea. Many years ago, we hiked this random old volcano near Sunset Crater. There was no trail, so we were pleasantly surprised to find a coffee tin with rocks, papers, pencils, and a few notes of encouragement at the top.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Being in scouts was something I wish I did as a kid and for a variety of reasons, it’s likely not in the cards for our T. What I love about it is the self discipline and teamwork it teaches kids and the confidence and self esteem that it helps build.

    Your experience, soiled underwear and all, sounds amazing and I agree the wonderful thing about being a child are all the new experiences and lessons we encounter.

    It seems these opportunities are less frequent as an adult and we have to be more intentional to seek them out in an effort to keep growing and learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoyed scouts and I think a lot of that had to do with just what you mention–self-discipline, teamwork, and building self-confidence. You’re so perceptive to recognize what may or may not work for T. If not scouts, hopefully you’ll find an activity that will be a good fit for T and help him develop some of those some positive traits and values.

      I never noticed your website address was My Lovable Pest. I love it!! Sweet and just a little cheeky. ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Esoterica Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: