Our Mountain Classroom!
September 21, 2016 by Woody
This morning dawned cool and crisp, making a breakfast of cereal, eggs, pancakes, and fruit just the right start to get people on their feet and ready for the day. With a good night’s sleep under their belts, the groups were ready for the next round of activities. It was fun to see their comfort with us and this new home grow throughout yesterday, making their approach even more fearless. The students in Dupont enjoyed some picturesque waterfalls and had no problem getting into the water and chasing all sorts of beleaguered creatures into their waiting nets for the stream ecology portion. The steep terrain remained a significant physical challenge, but any momentary shortness of breath was forgotten once the impressive Triple Falls came in view.
Meanwhile in camp, the group on our Low Ropes Challenge course did a truly admirable job working with each other in situations designed to be frustrating and difficult to solve. The experience of succeeding with a group of peers that may or may not be close friends can serve to bring students together even more quickly. Having overcome a common obstacle immediately begins forming a bond that we hope will carry over into the school year ahead of them. High Ropes remained a highlight today as many more students abruptly came face-to-face with personal fears. There were a lot of nervous silences, jockeying for position farther back in line, and loudly voiced doubts as to an ability to complete certain obstacles. There was also a near-constant chatter of support and encouragement from group members, gently but insistently pushing hesitant participants further than they thought possible at the start. While taking pictures of the zipline (the final element of the course), there was huge relief, smiles, and a lot of pride in what they had just worked their way through. Tons of fun and confidence gained to boot!
Both of our free times today saw a large group of students head directly for the lake. Canoes and paddleboards were tested on the water, students launched themselves off of the waterslide, and others enjoyed the mountain lake view from the comfort of the dock. For those that did not want to hop in the water, gaga ball once again drew a fiercely loyal crowd who covered themselves in dust and glory. Regardless of the pursuit chosen, everyone arrived at dinner hungry and ready to sit down for a bit…. Until about thirty minutes later when the refueling was done!
Back out the three groups went. They gathered flashlights and some warm clothes before heading into the woods for night hike activities and solo sits. After they group back up and talk about the experience of watching nightfall settle onto the woods around them, they will finish the evening with some social time and snacks before seeking the comforts of their cabins once more.
Tomorrow, each group heads out for a day of rock climbing and exploring some highlights of the nearby forests. We hope you enjoy the pictures this evening and will have a new batch Thursday night!
Have a good evening,