Over the last seven days we have learned and grown a lot as a group during our canoeing expedition, led by our experienced river guide Jeff Renfro with Desert Sports. This trip was a true expedition, having to strap all we needed to live on into our canoes and set off into the isolation that is Big Bend National Park.
At our first campsite at the head of the canyon we were welcomed by gusting winds and sand that challenged all of our routines. We had to have all hands on, setting up tents one-by-one behind sand dunes, so we weren’t as exposed, though there was no real sanctuary from the sand. It found its way into every nook and cranny and we’re pretty sure we still have some of that sand in our gear more than a week later. That is just one example of a hardship we overcame as a group that strengthened our bonds and improved our cohesiveness.
We learned the skills required to survive with just the necessities and it made us realize what those necessities really are, and how happy you can be when we are deprived of what we usually think we can’t get by without. Looking back on this off-campus program, we won’t remember the discomforts or inconveniences-we’ll remember the fires during evening meeting and the canyon walls silhouetted against the stars.
Everyday we get closer with more and more shared memories and experiences, and more and more squabbles and hardships behind us. We have reached a point on Mountain Classroom where where we are in swing, we know our roles and duties, and set out to do them everyday to support each other to make sure we can experience these incredible adventures around us to the fullest.
Luca '15 and Andrew '15