Upon returning from Wilderness Trips yesterday, I watched as all 40 MCS’ers hugged each other and screamed with excitement at being reunited. Although it had been only five days since we’d last seen each other, it seemed like much longer.
Wilderness Trips gave us all an opportunity to briefly escape from busy Chewonki life and experience Maine on a whole new level. I got to know the other five MCS’ers on my sea kayaking trip much better than I had before. We would spend every night after dinner stargazing, talking, and cuddling. Every shooting start that was spotted was a cause for excitement. During the day, we’d paddle mile by mile to reach our destination: Chewonki. To make the time pass faster, we’d sing, talk, or play at games such as Ghost, where we would each contribute a letter and try not to complete a word. Every moment of the trip was a blast.
But despite the fact that Wilderness Trips were so exciting, there was always that nagging thought in the back of my head about how much I missed everyone else. When you spend three weeks seeing a group of 39 other people every day, you grow accustomed to it. The small interactions with your cabin mates, your dish crew, your classmates, they all add up. You don’t realize how important they all are until you spend your days away from Chewonki, and even in a time as short as three weeks, it’s apparent.
Judging from the reunion after our return, it is clear that all 40 of us feel the same way. After missing them all so much, I was ecstatic to hear about everyone else’s experiences on Wilderness Trips. They all were similar to mine – amazing, but they missed Chewonki. So, while Wilderness Trips give us a unique opportunity to live in the outdoors of Maine and are supposed to be incredibly enjoyable, they also serve another purpose. They help us to appreciate Chewonki and the people here so much more, for you can never fully realize how much you value them until you are without them.
-Taylor Kniffin, Stamford, CT