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Taken to the river

If there was anything I would rename this intersession it would be “Take me to the Heater!” For two days my group of (mostly) underclassmen and the sparse amount of juniors and seniors spent the night in the middle-of-nowhere Maine with only our cabins and lodge (and the great outdoors, of course — but more on that later) to keep us occupied. However, as dismal as this may seem, I can safely speak on behalf of all the students that it was well worth being a little chilly to get to experience being not only the first group of white water rafters they had that season but also get some time away from our phones.

After arriving, mostly everyone dispersed throughout the grounds and either stayed in the lodge or played some hoops outside. My small group of friends, however, went for a “short” walk in the woods which included a mix of getting trapped in a foot of snow and almost– almost– slipping off a cliff. Our trusty guide, Mr. Pratte, who was also a chaperone for this trip, led us bravely through this journey and we were able to arrive back at the lodge in one piece. During our hike, some of the other kids were watching movies, going in the hot tub, or just playing some Monopoly with Mr. Richmond.

While our cabins were not insulated, we kept warm via the blessings of a higher power and some wool socks and hats. Our first night we roasted smores and got to practice some indoor rock climbing. Some kept toasty by fighting for the minimal wifi to play Fortnite but, whatever gets you through the hard times, you know?

Now for the big kahuna… the white water rafting. We started the morning glancing at our breath while we prepared our stuff for the last day. After breakfast the group grabbed wetsuits and spent the next 20 minutes shoving our limbs into what seemed like the human equivalent of a chinese finger trap. If anything, do this intersession just for the experience of watching your classmates struggle, it’s pretty funny.

Now that we were all bundled up and struggling for air, we grabbed our helmets and paddles and hit the bus for a rather cozy 45-minute bus ride up to the top of the river. We then got ourselves into groups of seven and began to prepare for our adventure down the Kennebec River.

The water, a crisp 30 degrees, and the air nice and breezy made for perfect conditions to experience hypothermia and a nice cold after we were done. However, once we set out on the raft and began to hit some rapids, all the cold weather and stiff wetsuits were forgotten. While some expletives may have been dropped through our journey, most of the ride was full of laughs and jokes. After hitting all the major rapids our trip came to a close and we made our way back to the bus where some hot chocolate and candy was waiting for us.

My whole group left this trip with a general feeling of accomplishment and for sure some fatigue. Yet, while being a trip that is out of most of people’s comfort zones, I would recommend this intersession for everyone. You not only get the pleasure of spending some quality time with your classmates just hanging out and eating some good food but you get to experience a possibly new activity. And, hey, there’s always the hot tub.