Since I have been called into the bishopric I have applied every year for our troop to go to Philmont. For those that don't know Philmont is a "high adventure" scout ranch where scouts go backpacking. Typically a trek lasts for 10 days on the trail and will cover 50+ miles. It is totally awesome. You have to apply 2 years in advance and it is a lottery-style selection from all the troops that submit applications. I'ts been 4 years of applying every year, and we haven't been selected yet.
A bit of history: I went there twice as a youth and then once as a ranger the summer before my mission. Some of the best and most spiritual experiences I had in my young life occurred in the mountains and trails of that wonderful place. My love of hiking, backpacking and my deep love for the outdoors were all kindled during my experiences there. It is a very sacred place for me.
So, today I was informed that there have been some cancellations from other crews going there this coming summer and our crew was selected from the wait list to go. I could not be more delighted. We have dates set and we are now trying to find out how many young men and leaders will join us for the trek.
At this point I should say that I am extremely grateful for my wife. I came to her and asked if she was okay if I go (which would be at least a 12 day trip for me). It will involve a not insignificant expense for us as a family and I will be leaving her alone with our kids for 12 days in the middle of summer, not an insignificant trial for Marci. However, despite all that she basically signed and said, "How can I say no? Of course you can go."
I believe I married her for this very moment.
So, I'm extremely grateful that I will have another opportunity to go to Philmont, and I'm grateful I have a wife who is willing to let me go.
P.S.: As a side note, I would give anything to have this opportunity happen next year so that Caleb could go with me, but the opportunity is now and because of the lottery-style selection prevents us from having any guarantee that we would be selected next year if we chose to pass up this opportunity this year. So, it is a bit of a mixed blessing.