While staff and students adjust to a post-Strathcona routine, our grade 9 students reflect on some of the more memorable moments of their trip:
“I woke up earlier than normal this morning. It was dawn on Sunday, September 8th 2013, our final day out in Brewster Lake before heading back to the Strathcona Park Lodge. The reason for my awakening was unknown, yet as I lay there in the comfort and warmth of my sleeping bag, I noticed that it was quiet–too quiet. Not only was there complete silence, but also quite an eerie, and unsettling, feeling. With this feeling trapped inside of myself, I could not sleep. In an attempt to release this demon prowling within me, I made my way towards the beach. I had no real aim except to become drowsy, and fall into a deep slumber once again. When I reached my destination, I was met with a breathtaking sight. The water was still and immovable. There were no noises other than the beating of an eagle’s wings. I stood there, with my feet buried in the sand, wearing nothing but my pajamas. It was around twelve degrees outside, and I was frigid, yet I still stood, awe-inspired by the view and spectacular reflection offered by the lake.” – Graham L.
“As I woke up on the second-last morning, I was greeted by a seemingly never-ending blanket of dark gray clouds covering the sky as far as I could see. ‘That,’ I said to myself, ‘is practically an omen that this will be a rough day.’ I then turned my attention to my sleeping bag as I attempted to smoothly get out of it, and that was when I saw it.
‘Gross!’ I yelled as I spot a glob of dried bird dung on my sleeping bag.
I then extricated myself from my dirty sleeping bag in a timely manner and scoped out the area surrounding my sleeping bag to see if anything else had received this unpleasant package. To my great relief, I didn’t see any other pieces of this vile matter anywhere. I thought to myself that I was quite lucky that this loathsome deposit had so conveniently missed my head. As I was about to go on my merry way, Graham pointed out that I had what seemed to be a cut on my lip. Thinking it was a cut, I licked my lips, but the taste of blood was absent. Curious as to what Graham saw, I nonchalantly picked up my sunglasses and used them as a mirror to see my lips.
‘No, no, no, no, no, no! EWW! DISGUSTING!’ I cried frantically and in utter disbelief as I saw a very familiar brown-coloured glob on my lip.
I started to spit uncontrollably, and wiped my tongue, but to no avail–it was too late. I had unwittingly had a bird poop in my mouth, swallowed it, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, licked the tiny bit that was left on my lip. If you must know, it tasted horrible.” – Maxim V.
“Camping. When you hear the word ‘camping’, you think of sleeping in a tent in the middle of nowhere, eating in the woods, roasting marshmallows near a blazing fire, and mosquitoes pinching into your skin, but what I think of camping is sitting near a fire with a few of my friends and telling riddles until you see the stars littered in the night sky. I see my friend’s faces across the fire as we tell each other riddles and try to figure them out, with confusion and thinking of an answer stuck on their faces and mine as well. I always find a feeling of happiness when I figure out one of my instructor’s riddles or even one of my peer’s. I start to laugh at how simple it was but how it took me twenty minutes to figure out. The fire starts to go down but our smiles still hang on our faces tightly. The feeling of drowsiness starts to overcome my body and I know I would want to do this every day.” – Naeem V.
“This was a grade 9 year I will never forget. It was filled with spontaneous actions, whim-of-the-moment decisions and a lot of conflict. With all this going on, it’s hard for me to unclog my memory and think of a good moment that I absolutely loved. In my group there was so much going on. Nobody agreed on anything and everyone had a strong opinion and fought for what they wanted. But this, this was what made my trip worth while. Over the nights and days, I realized that everybody in mini school are strong people. They will fight for what they want, and will do almost anything to get it. We don’t just let things slide off our shoulders, we grasp things before they fall to the ground and make those small mistakes into great lessons. While I was on this trip, I couldn’t pinpoint one great memory, but I realized that all these small hardships equaled together made for a magnificent experience.” – Raven K.