I promised myself that when I came here I would take full advantage of everything that Chewonki has to offer. The first night, Peter, the Head of School, asked for someone to take on the responsibility of ringing the bell every morning to call people out of their cabins. At first I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to do it; I was just coming to terms with the fact that I would need to get up at 6:45 and waking up even earlier was not high on my to-do list. But I reminded myself of my promise, and decided that I would volunteer.
The next morning I woke up to pitch-blackness. On the rare occasion that I do wake up early, I cherish it. That morning was deafeningly quiet. My boots crunching against the snow sounded like explosions. The door opening to the bathroom was an uncomfortably sharp crack that I felt woke up everyone in Maine. When I got back to the cabin, some of my cabin mates were stirring. We all got dressed in silence, no one wanting to be the first to shatter the stillness in the air. Everyone trickled out of the cabin to go to the bathroom, and as I was leaving to ring the bell, one friend walked out to accompany me. We walked, only whispering once to coordinate getting a cup of tea. When we got to the bell, we waited, neither of us talking for fear of breaking the sanctity of the morning.
Finally, it was time for me to ring the bell. I pulled on the rope, and the clear, bright tolls of the bell shattered the morning, announcing the start of our first day at Chewonki.
Lucas, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York