Update: When I first wrote this post I had no idea that “onward and upward!” was an English rendering of the motto of the medieval pilgrims:

Medieval pilgrim #1: Ultreïa!
Medieval pilgrim #2: Et suseïa!

I am sure that this was deliberate on the part of C. S. Lewis (whose “feast day” we celebrate today, November 22, 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death) who used this phrase in The Horse and His Boy, the fifth book of “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Our Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE) group will always have a special place in our hearts for the North as our Canadian brothers and sisters gave so much of their time and energy toward helping our little North Star Group get started here in the United States. Now we hope to return the favor to other groups here in the U.S., insofar as we are able.

With this in mind, Akela Chris, Flickertail, and Bagheera traveled north (“onward and upward”) with several Explorers, Timber Wolves, and even Otters this past weekend to install the leaders for the Mount Monadnock FNE Group in southern New Hampshire.

We set out for NH before dawn on Saturday and rolled in around 10 am with little or no mishap. (Our boys and girls were especially impressed with the lights on the Tappan Zee Bridge as we crossed the Hudson just as the dawn broke.) We took just a short while to pack up before setting out for Mount Monadnock for what turned out to be a very long day of hiking, certainly longer than any of our youth had experienced before.

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

Boys and leaders set off from the base of Mount Monadnock for their ascent via the Marlboro Trail – one of the steeper trails on the mountain

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

The girls and their leaders starting their ascent on another trail

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

The girls continuing their climb

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

The boys and their leaders pausing for a short respite (and to pose for a picture) on the way up

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

Pausing before one of the steeper sections of the trail

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

Summiting

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

The girls coming up to the summit

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

Coming up to the summit to enjoy the view

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

Promise ceremony near the summit

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

“On my honor and with God’s grace, I promise to do my best to serve God, my Church, and my country, to help others at all times, and to obey the Explorer Law.”

Mount Monadnock FNE Ascent

Rabbit Patrol helps Sr. Akela practice the Howl with some of her Timber Wolves

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