Outdoor Ed: You Really Can’t Go Back Again

Cayla Reed, Center Editor

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Flashback to the most memorable event in middle school, Outdoor Education, sixth grade year. I had so much fun with my friends, and the food was the best part. I loved it.

Since then, I have declared, year after year, that during my senior year I would go again as a student counselor. So, when the opportunity to apply rolled around, I applied for a counselor position and was chosen. I was very excited.

However, when I went to Skycroft during early December the experience of the cold winter days in the mountains were not the best, they were not what I remembered because I went in the spring of sixth grade.

Going in, I was excited to have three excused days off of school and to have the freedom that my counselors did when I was there in middle school. To my surprise, many of the counselors – all seniors in high school – were from Briggs Chaney, where I went to middle school, and many of the teachers along for the trip were my former teachers. It was like a reunion when we saw each other. Experiencing Outdoor Ed. with them again made the experience way better. The sixth graders were also full of personality and fun, so it wasn’t hard to spend a lot of my time engaging in activities with them.

This time around I had responsibilities other than to have fun, though. We went on the trip during some very cold days and the counselors felt it more than anybody. The worst part was loading and unloading the buses with people’s luggage; many people definitely overpacked for two nights and three days. It was freezing, but most of the time we were moving around, so I believe we became numb to the cold. The hike with Ms. Bailey to Washington Monument State Park was my favorite activity six years ago and, after this trip, it still is. I enjoyed making chants for our cabin and playing Predator/Prey in the woods as well. The food was a bit of a disappointment because of my strong memories and high hopes from last time, but breakfast was great.

Afterwards, I spent a week and a half of my lunch in classrooms making up assignments and taking tests. However, I gained 24 SSL hours and stronger friendships than I’d had with the people I served with, so those were positives.

They say you can’t ever really go back to something, and it’s true. Though I had a lot of fun, I now see Outdoor Ed. differently; not worse, just different, and I can honestly say that the experience is definitely better as a kid.

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Outdoor Ed: You Really Can’t Go Back Again