Pioneer Trek

TREK 2018- Gabe and Mary from Michelle Lehnardt on Vimeo.

You know I love pioneer trek. SO. MUCH.

Yes, it seems nutty to pack your belongings in a bucket, dress up in pioneer clothes and push handcarts while walking in a big circle in Wyoming. Not to mention the twenty months of prep, thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours dedicated to creating an incredible experience for our 14-18 aged youth.

And it was INCREDIBLE.

I was lucky enough to tag along as the photographer/videographer and spent the four days completely in awe of the talented, kind, hard-working adults and youth in our stake. And I was lucky enough to go with Gabe and Mary. Poor Erik had to stay home recovering from shoulder surgery.

Before trek we had a family home evening talking (lecturing) about trek. Thanks to experienced older brothers and nervous parents we came up with this list:

Be the kindest person in your group.

It is what you make of it.

Be grateful and express your gratitude.

Don’t brag. People will notice that you are strong and smart and good— you don’t need to tell them.

Work hard. Be willing to slow down for others.

Trek might not change your life, but you can change someone else’s.

Be the family member you want to have.

Worry about other people more than yourself.

Be the most obedient.

Assume that people like you.

Compliment other people.

Remember that most people aren’t as sarcastic as we are. 🙂

But the very best advice came from our stake young men’s president. Before we left, he told the youth, “If you have any sins that are dragging you down, keeping you from Christ and preventing you from feeling joy, leave those sins behind you. Leave them on the plains of Wyoming and don’t bring them back home with you.”

Mary was lucky enough to borrow our friend Maggie Gardner’s gorgeous dresses (isn’t this red one incredible?) and to spend lots of time with her friends and her favorite women in the stake. Here she is braiding Stephanie Witt’s hair. I hope you have someone in your life like Stephanie Witt– she’s pure sunshine.

Gabe ended up in the same family as his childhood friend, Owen, and soon became everyone’s friend.

I’ve been spending all my spare time since trek working on the video, but since it’s 24 minutes long (and not yet approved by the powers that be) I’m sharing one of just Gabe and Mary (and a little bit of me) instead.

Enjoy! And if you ever get a chance to go on pioneer trek, lace up your boots, tie on your hat, walk those miles and savor every minute.



August 24, 2018



  1. Montserrat

    July 22, 2018

    Our stake went on their first ever trek in June. Joseph and I got to be a Ma and Pa. Three of our girls got to go (it was for all youth 12 and up) and it was, as you said, INCREDIBLE. We had such a great experience. I have yet to blog about it though. Hopefully this week. We did ours at the Mosida Trek site by Elberta, UT.

  2. ellen patton

    July 24, 2018

    the dresses! the braids! the bonnets!

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