As a welcome back from Spring Break, the 9th grade class was sent off to sail along the Colorado River. The tiyul was a four night trip, filled with grade bonding and numerous mosquito bites. After traveling six long hours on a seemingly never ending road, the freshmen finally arrived at a sunny campsite to naturalists waving enthusiastically in their bus windows. Each advisory split up into its own pod, some combined with others, where they were assigned a teacher and a naturalist. The trip was filled with excitement, laughs, and many, many memories.
The first day was a little hectic as everyone was hot, dehydrated, and overwhelmed. The students were busy settling in, learning how to build their tents while they received instructions on how to ride safely in a canoe. Finally as the sun began to set, everyone was able to relax. “A good experience that I had on Colorado River was when we all went and got in our canoes on the first night. We podded up, watched the stars, and shared stories,” said Jamie Brooks ’15.
Going into the next day, the freshman class was extremely excited to get going on the river. “The best part of the trip was anytime my group got together we would pod up and have water fights. It was so much fun,” said Shelby Silver ’15. The sights along the river were beautiful; on the left the Arizona Mountain range and on the right was magnificent California scenery. “One time I saw a mountain goat, and it was awesome,” said Julian Kay ’15.
By the end of the trip, the grade had forged bonds, and friendships were even made with the naturalists. They became leaders to look up to during times of trouble and confusion in an unfamiliar environment. “Our naturalist was named Michael, otherwise known as "Shmichael;" he was outgoing and hilarious. His appearance completely matched his personality; short dread locks, a full-grown beard, and a sun hat he kept on constantly. On the last day of the trip, as Michael was getting our breakfast ready, he decided to take off his hat in a very subtle way. As he took it off, we immediately saw that the "Shmichael" we knew, with dirty dread locks, was fake and realized that he was wearing a wig the entire time! This put our group in a complete state of shock and laughter, we couldn't believe our eyes,” said Serena Wolman ’15.
Even though there were no showers and the mosquito bites were horrible, laughing and having fun on the river overpowered any negative sentiments from the trip. It was a great opportunity to make new friendships because we learned how to work as a group. It takes more than one person to carry a canoe, to transfer materials to new campsites, and pitch a tent.