It was Elle Barta's first time in the desert. She was on spring break with CAMP. Up until then, her idea of spending time in the outdoors was hiking trails in the mountains surrounded by trees—nothing like what she was encountering in Utah.
But she found herself mesmerized by the beauty of the desert. She found the rock formations gorgeous, and noticed how they changed color as the sun rose throughout the day. Then, she was told they were going canyoneering, climbing and repelling on walls of rock. Even though she had a fear of heights, Elle faced her challenge, and repelled off of a cliff higher up than she ever thought possible.
When I felt the ground underneath my feet I was so happy. Everyone congratulated me and was so excited for me. Everyone was smiling, and it gave me the confidence I needed for the next two repels.
Canyoneering was completely out of my comfort zone. But I did it, and in the process made new friendships with others who were just as nervous as I was. There were two girls I really bonded with that day, and after that trip we continued to go on outdoor trips together.