On Monday the entire senior class took off to Camp Caribou. Before we left we were all buzzing with excitement. Many of us had heard a little about what we were going to do at caribou but had no clue what the actual experience would be like. On most Fenn field trips, the bus ride is an extremely fun part of the trip, and the bus ride to Caribou was no exception. As we took off on the bus we were all ready for a long, long day of driving. Turns out that it was not like that at all. We watched a few great movies as a class, and despite that it was not quiet at all, everyone got to
A few hours later, as we pulled into Caribou everyone stopped what they were doing and awestruck looked out the window at where we were going to be staying the next three days. There were the cabins where we would be spending all of our time, there was the dining hall where we were to eat all of amazing meals, and there was all the activities that we would be doing over the course of the next three days all around us. If you thought we were excited before, this was a whole new level of excitement. Once again as the door opened we were all standing and pushing our way past one another to get off the bus. We got out of the bus and standing in front of the cabins were a few of the counselors that would be staying with us and helping us out for the next few days. We all gathered around them in a large semi-circle and waited for them to speak. After everyone was settled down and quiet the counselors began introducing themselves, each one in a different accent. They explained the rules and other such information even though most of us were to excited to be listening.
I completely forgot what we did the first day because I was so tired by the time we got off the bus. The only thing I remember is some of the things that we did at dinner. Before each meal everyone gathers around to say grace, which sound a little weird to those who are not Christian, but is not really a religious thing at Caribou. We then get sent up to get food one table at a time. The food is outstanding and is the first camp food that most people in the class have enjoyed. After every meal we would then gather in a large circle in an empty area of the lunch hall and anyone who wanted to would teach everyone else a cheer or song that they knew. In my opinion the best was definitely Greasy Greasy Grand-mammy. The first night we all got a great night sleep and woke up ready for whatever was coming next.
When we woke up on the second day, we all headed to breakfast. We did the same thing. got called up table by table, said grace, and then did cheers. After every meal there was free time where we could do anything we wanted. Our free time usually consisted of soccer, paddle tennis, and football. It was a very sports oriented camp, which for a group of 36 fourteen year old boys is great. The second day was our ropes course day. We started off with the lows ropes which consisted of a twelve foot wall that everyone had to climb without and footholds or handholds, a disgusting pit of water with a rope in the middle that we somehow had to get, a spiderweb that everyone had to get through without using the same hole twice, and a leap of faith where you had to jump from poles different distances away and grab on to a trapeze.
My group started with the nasty pit. We did not have much trouble with figuring this one out. We tied a bunch of sweatshirts together and tied a shoe to the end too add weight. We then swung our massive rope until we caught the rope-swing and swung everyone across. Next we had the spiderweb which we also did not have any trouble with we all just crawled or got lifted through different holes. Next was the twelve foot wall where we just lifted each other up until we could grab the top or have someone up on top pull us up. Last we had the leap of faith. This was more of an individual activity so we went one at a time jumping for the trapeze. Most of us were successful on one or two of the levels but once we got up higher we just couldn't reach the trapeze. After finishing these activities we headed to the high ropes course which I was not able to participate in so I won't really talk about.
After dinner that night we had out sort of ceremonial campfire with the entire grade where we could tell jokes, sing songs, tell riddles, or just talk about anything we wanted to. The highlight of that was OG singing his song, What a Jew which made all of us laugh. After the singing and the other stuff stopped, we got to just hangout around the campfire, roast s'mores, and talk. We then retreated to our bunk and fell asleep. We woke up the next morning to do the aqua zip, a huge 50 foot zip line into the water. You climb up about fifty feet on a tree and get onto a little platform at the top. One of the counselors at the top then clips you into the zip line and you just sort of walk off the platform and get to almost fly across the water. It is really one of the most fun thing I've ever done, and while some people didn't do it, those who did loved it.
I have talked a lot about what we did but have neglected to mention what we learned, or at least what I learned. Throughout the trip almost everyone hung out with people that they didn't think that they would. Part of that was that our class is a lot smaller than it used to be and it brought all of us closer together. Part of it was that we really got to know one another more as the trip went on. We got to learn the importance of teamwork and how without teamwork you would not be able to do so many different things. We learned that while being independent is important, you can not rely on yourself for everything, and most importantly, we learned to trust. Normally when you think of trust, you think of trusting other people, and while that is part of trust, there is also a much more important sort of trust. We had to learn to trust ourselves. We stretched outside of our comfort zones and had to not only believe in ourselves but trust ourselves to do the right thing.
There is not always going to be someone there to watch your back or to look after you and when that time comes you have to be able to trust yourself to make the right decision and to do what has to be done.