The weather throughout the entire weekend was extremely nice. The days were warm and sunny without the humidity and the dark night allowed for a pleasant cool breeze, as we took St. Peter’s on an unforgettable camping trip in Mohawk State Forest Park and whitewater rafting on the Deerfield River.
When we all arrived, we set up camp (i.e. tents) for the night and for majority of high school students, it was their first time camping –let alone setting up tents. After the 5 young ladies beat the 5 young men at setting up their main tent, we all went on a hike of the nearby stream, while a few stayed back at camp to prepare dinner.
After relaxing by the side of the stream, we made our way back to camp and a few young men pitched in and started the fire and thereafter, we ate our filling dinner with thanks to our makeshift chefs (Amy, Allan, and a few of the SP’s ladies) for the evening. Other adults (Rucker, Andrew, and St Peter’s staff member Culi) supervised the cleanup.
After we ate the turkey and veggie burgers accompanied with rice and beans, it was beginning to get dark so, we all decided a nice game of futbol (i.e. soccer) was absolutely necessary before we hopped into our sleeping bags. We finished playing futbol just before the sun completely vanished for the night and we made our way back to camp. Once we got to camp, Rucker showed us how to make banana boats. The sweet n’ healthy ingredients were a combination of bananas, walnuts, marshmallows, and semi-sweet chocolate chips wrapped in foil and grilled on the fire, which produced warm, sweet, gooey, and tasty goodness!
By the time the night came, it was pitch black and we all decided to go back to the open field to star gaze and watch for shooting stars. While out, we must have seen about 3-4 shooting stars and it became so quiet at one point that we could hear bats flying around using their echolocation frequencies finding their way from tree to tree. Tired, we went back to camp and slept –at least some.
We woke up to a healthy breakfast, packed up camp, and headed to Zoar Outdoor to go whitewater rafting. For about 10 miles we went downstream on the Deerfield River with rapid levels of up to Class 3s. Although the rowing on the river made arms weak, the camaraderie and bonds built on the river grew everyone strong, as we all muscled enough strength to row efficiently in unison. Unfortunately, a couple of us got catapulted out of the boat, but all were safe. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” I will leave my words here and let the pictures complete our report…
All in all, it was a fantastic time and I believe new ground was broken as for many it was their first time camping, the first time hearing bats in the night sky, and the first time conquering fears on the Deerfield River, which in its essence warmed all of our hearts.