Freshman Camping Minimester - My Family Travels

When I was first told I would be going camping with 61 other 14 and 15 year olds and 6 teachers without electricity, electronics, showers, some of my friends and my parents for 5 days I just knew a girly girl like myself was not going to be a happy camper.  I’d never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be doing something like that until I enrolled as a freshman at Richmond Community High School.

From the very beginning, before even getting on the buses to depart from the school, being separated from half my class, which contained some of my closest friends, seemed like it was going to be a lifetime without them.  After riding on a bus and being confused about where we were for a few hours, we finally arrived at the campsite we would be staying at.  Pocomoke, Maryland would be our home for the next week.  You never heard of it either?

By time we had set up the tents & gotten our sleeping bags all settled in, the night had come and it was time for us to go to sleep.  But first, we had a campfire for all of us to talk and come closer together.  Little did I know that would be the warmest part of my night; I learned from that night to sleep with long socks, sweatpants, long-sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, and even shoes in order not to freeze in my supposedly 30? insulated sleeping bag.  Monday to Friday we were sleeping with the bugs and grass, if you would call that sleeping at all. 

We took trips during the day to places such as Tangier Island, Turner Sculptures, and rock climbing.  Tangier Island was an isolated island that had its own school, church, graveyard, homes, and everything else needed to have a functioning town.  The only way you can get there is by boat, and that boat ride with the wind blowing on me was the best sleep I had the WHOLE week!  At Turner Sculptures we got to view different wildlife sculptures that had been beautifully handcrafted.  We also did a course that included rock climbing and other group activities in order to build the togetherness of us as a class.  Between the activities and the campfires at night, the trip’s purpose succeeded in getting the class to bond with each other.

While on the trip, most of us complained about the heat in the day, cold at night, ticks and flies, and limited supply of food, but looking back I can see how that trip helped me become closer to some of the friends I have now, learn some survival skills, and taught me to live with other people for a period of time.  Probably the most negative effect of the trip though would be coming back with a swollen face from being in the sun too much.  Can’t say I would do it again, but I can say it was a positive learning experience that I will use for many things I will do in the future.

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