Cole Reynolds



Bellaire, TX | 17 years old

“Beep Beep Beep,” my alarm was going off on the second Wednesday of session three; it was time for the “Manly Man Hike.” I struggled with two options — roll back over and get another hour of sleep or get up and get moving. Thankfully I chose the first.

The trail was easy at first, but as it sloped upwards it became increasingly more difficult. As I hiked up the trail, I started thinking about things like what college I wanted to choose, what I wanted to do with my life, and how I could improve as a person and as a friend. I was deep in thought when abruptly the last hundred feet came and went. I found myself at the Summit of Red Mountain.

Everyone began to take in the surrounding sights. The city of Manitou Springs was on one side and the outskirts of Colorado Springs was on the other – both awash in the young morning light of the sun. Fresh doughnuts were passed around while a staffer gave a quick devotional. The message was simple while the meaning was profound. He explained why knowing about God was not the same as knowing God, and that if we wished to know Him, we have to listen to His voice. While this message seemed elementary, it struck me in a fresh and enlightening way when the staffer had us take a moment to be still, sit and listen for God’s direction.

During this time, my previous thoughts and questions made their way back to my mind, but this time another voice presented itself. While I was contemplating, God said, “Just follow me.” Again, this truth is not particularly new, but a new feeling of relief, joy, and love for my Savior washed over me at that moment and drew me to tears. I felt the weight of needing to prove myself and be successful give way to the peace that comes with believing that all the Savior wants for me is to follow Him.

This “mountaintop” experience is one that stood out the most to me at Summit. While it may not have been new information or even a memory with friends, that experience more than any other at Summit will continue to have a great impact on the rest of my life.

While Summit is structured to have the student drink from a firehose of truth and knowledge in the lectures, many times a profound experience happens in the cracks when there is time to contemplate and listen for God’s voice. That is why I love Summit.