by Grace Rupp ‘10, written for 9th grade English Class
After three years of raising money by selling coffee and baked goods, our Cincinnati Waldorf School Class of 2010 had enough money at the perfect time for our 8th grade class trip to Maine. We were all looking forward to purchasing and organizing our gear, then arriving in Maine to learn how to kayak on the ocean and camp in the wilderness of the beautiful islands.
As we bolted out of the airport bus, the pungent smell of oysters and seaweed welcomed us to Maine! We were on the coast near Bangor and our first night was spent in a rustic cabin on the rocky beach. The next morning we awoke surrounded by our expedition guides who were playing flutes and singing. They told us about what we would be doing for the next week. We went through the basic drills and then we were off!
After the first few days, we all got used to living off the land and we settled in. Then one night, out of nowhere, a huge rainstorm rolled in!!! Our tarps were flying everywhere, all of our water was knocked over and we had to struggle to keep everything dry and warm – including our own bodies! We tied the tarps to trees in order to shelter our food and gear. We lit a fire under the tarps to prevent shivering and to get somewhat dry, although it was an uncomfortable night. The next morning, we used nature’s clothes dryer: the sun!
Working together as a team and helping each other out was a great experience for all of us. We came to the realization that if we did not have each other, we wouldn’t have been able to face the difficulties of an expedition in the middle of nowhere. In many ways, I believe that storm made us stronger and helped us to fully realize how easy we have it back at home.
The weather was nice from then on and we learned many great survival skills, including how to build a fire, swim in a 30 degree ocean, entice seals to follow our kayaks, and how to work together during a scavenger hunt for the reward of a bucket of chocolate pretzels! We even learned how to carve our own spoons from chunks of wood.
I’m sure that nobody in our class will ever forget that trip because it made us appreciate the earth we live upon and how to work with one another in order to accomplish our goals. We had an amazing time that I will never forget!