Cook: How to build a trail

photo David Cook

IF YOU GO* What: The Golden Cairn Awards, honoring outdoor leaders and clubs* Where: Miller Plaza* When: Today at 7:00 p.m.* Cost: $35 in advance, $40 at the door; BBQ buffet, Chattanooga Brewing Co.

You begin by knowing the obstacles before you, the things you have to avoid.

Boulders to dodge. Streams to cross. Trees to navigate around. Building a trail means you keep one eye on the ground at your feet, and the other on the horizon: where you are, and where you want to be.

The same is true for young people in Chattanooga. We know where we want them to go: to a horizon with dignified jobs, healthy relationships, and a true-north knowledge of the human self.