An update from Johnny:

From Dallas to Taos, through the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, and finally up to the summit of Milwaukee Peak, I began my college career alongside 15 other HSP expeditioners in what would become a fantastic experience in which bonds of trust and friendship were born over whistling outdoor stoves, tested through never-ending mountain switchbacks and enjoyed in the shadow of an idyllic American landscape.

Everyone faced trials, but as a team, and with awesome SMU spirit, we overcame and conquered, quite literally, a mountain of a task. Credit must be given to the leaders, who worked and adapted to ensure each and every one of us had a great time, even if it meant detouring hundreds of miles and blazing a brand-new trail. They set a strong precedent of how a proper student, citizen and outdoorsman should handle oneself and taught us lessons that I will hold fast to throughout my collegiate career.

Personally, the trip enabled me to go ahead and make new friends, spark interests I never even knew existed and really have the chance to begin the next four years of my life on a good foot. As a whole, the HSP Expedition was, for lack of more poetic terms, wonderful.

Read about the Hilltop Scholars Expedition in the Weatherford Democrat.