Pilgrimage (pil-gruh-mij) (noun) a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion
Annually a group of iGosians make an early June pilgrimage to Webster Conference Center, which is just outside Salina, Kansas.
(Side Note - The exact whereabouts of WCC in relation to Salina have been in question among iGosians for years. Legend at one time passed down from Aaron Clayton to K/N Coordinator Sarah was that the camp is far away from civilization, much like the rest of Kansas. As a result it was generally believed that arriving at the WCC pretty much cut you off from the rest of the known world, or at least places to eat and shop. Attempts were made in 2011 to put this legend to rest by actually showing K/N Coordinator Sarah that Salina is much closer than the legend-makers would have her believe. We shall soon see if the new information prevails.)
This Kansas pilgrimage is slowly becoming a true rite of passage for iGosians. Therefore, we offer you this checklist of Must-See/Must-Do items as you plan your own journey.
1. The Crossing. Passengers in the caravan must fight the urge to slumber during the early stages of the trip. It won’t be long before you cross a river that is “all crazy and red” (Crystal Meeker, circa 2009). This crossing marks two significant events. First, it marks the leaving behind of the Great Republic of Texas. The highway quality deteriorates almost immediately along with everything else. iGosian Pilgrims must brace themselves for this depressing reality. Second, it marks the passing by of one of the more famous towns in all of iGosia - Say it with me please, Thaaaaaaaaaaaackerville!
2. Getting there is most of the fun. Some weaker iGosians have slept through much of the trip, however this is not advised. Fuel management issues, smoked almonds, Mat Kearney on repeat, surly and uncaring Braum’s employees, van vs. iGosian near-misses, extreme inner-vehicle heat waves, and a Kansas landscape filled with chain link fences make this an adventure to remember.
3. T-Mac. T-Mac is the man for Kansas and Nebraska or wherever he might be found. Your Base Camp Bravo experience will never be complete without shaking this man’s hand and gleaning his wisdom over a cup of coffee or perhaps a cold cut deli bar.
4. The WCC. Webster Conference Center has a checklist of its own. First, make sure you take some rock-star photos using your reflection in the giant windows. Next, look for snakes, which do not look at all like badgers. Despite what Ky may say, do not pick them up. Number C, look out for some of iGosia’s largest mosquitoes. Fourth, try to hug Phil, Keeper of the Cafeteria. Very few have tried this feat. None have been successful. And finally, step lightly around WCC Director Bill when he joins the iGosian Security team. He will be exercising his right to bear arms in full view. After that, feel free to talk to him. He is a great guy, but he will most likely still be armed.
5. Don’t rush off. These students from Kansas and Nebraska may be small in number, but they continually produce quality teams and future leaders. Get to know them. Spend as much time as you can with them. Besides, if you leave too soon, you will never forget the look of despair on Sarah’s face as you drive away.
Many others have made this pilgrimage over the years. What other Must See/Must Do items need to be added to this list? Hit the comment button and let us know.