by Caitlin Blau and Bryan McManus – 14 Oct 2004
People who suffer through challenging experiences together are always closer when the trial is over.
Our teachers came up with the perfect bonding technique: take us out into the woods, make us climb lots of ropes and hike around in the rain.
So, after a short first day of school orientation at our wonderful new building in town, we piled into three cars and drove to Camp Hi-Rock where we met our instructors who would lead the activities.
“You are going to get wet,” our counselor said..
“Oh” we responded. We weren’t expecting THAT.
It rained. And it rained. But the constant pouring rain didnít stop any of us from having a blast. First, we learned teamwork and trust. Right away, we were led through numerous challenging games before we were allowed to eat.
After dinner, we were instructed to create a shelter that could hold a person, out of masking tape and newspaper. Without talking.
We did both the low and high ropes courses at Camp Hi-Rock.
The low ropes emphasized teamwork and responsibility for each other, using elements like The Wall, which everybody had to get over, ladder not included, and everyoneís favorite, the Spiderweb.
Everyone had to get through, no touching, and no using the same hole twice. If you did touch, back to the beginning again. That one took a while…
The high ropes challenged us to challenge ourselves.
For some the challenge was climbing the ladder to the starting platform, 40 feet in the air; for some it was letting go of the belay rope and walking backwards across the slippery Catwalk.
Everyone pushed personal limits and got to cruise down the zip line. Even Ms. Eliot scampered around the high ropes before we left.
On the last day we were led on a long hike around the outskirts of the camp. We trudged through rivers in the pouring rain but with the reward of hot chocolate at the end. Our last activity was canoeing.
After gloating over his last set of dry clothes, Andrew found himself in the lake, fully clothed, along with Tavish and Toby. Drenched, they came out shivering with no dry clothes left at all.
The lesson learned? Three people in a canoe throwing volleyballs at Bryan are just enough force to tip over said canoe and sink it. Happily, it was almost time to go.
After a goodbye speech from our head instructor and ONE last bonding exercise, we packed up our bags and headed home.