Friendship. Teamwork. Courage.
No life is complete without a group of friends. At Camp Caribou it was my friends that pushed me to do an activity I never thought I could. I was nervous as I stared at the humongous tree that I was about to climb, but it was my many friends that encouraged me to go. It was a long way to the AquaZip, but my friends cheered me on the whole way there. An early morning fog had cleared through on this beautiful Friday in September and the whole Fenn 9th grade class stared at the tall tree we were about to climb. The tree was a short walk away from the Camp Caribou camp site that we had spent our last two days at. Most of us were excited to go on the AquaZip, but many of us were also scared of the climbing we had to do to get there. Nervous and scared—but determined, I stepped on the latter as I began my climb to the small platform high up on the tree. Step by step I made my way up the later. I listened to the many friends saying you can do it, and encouraging me to keep going. Although their happy encouragement was helpful, it was my best friends who gave the "stupid" encouragement that helped the most. I do not believe they knew this, but as they screamed, "Don't splat," "There is a man eating bird on the top of the tree," "Lucas, why is the tree shaking so much?" or "It is a long way down, so don't fall," they pushed me further along and eventually, after what felt like climb to the top of Mount Everest, I made it. They strapped my harness in, and I jumped. As the zipline crashed into the water I saw my best friends cheering and I felt relief, but also something new. I realized I wanted to do it again. With all the "stupid" encouragement that my friends gave me, they helped me conquer one of my biggest fears, heights, and they also helped me enjoy the reward of the heights. I realized it was the friends who pushed me to be courageous that were the ones I wanted to keep for a long time. I look at my friends as they are part of my team.
No team works without teamwork. The trip to Camp Caribou had activities where teamwork was the only option to succeed. The twelve foot straight up wall we had to conquer would only be possible one way, if we worked as a team. The more teamwork, the more of a possibility we had to defeat the wall. Half of the Fenn Seniors stared at the flat wall in the middle of Camp Caribou and talked about how we would get up it. The hot temperature on the Thursday afternoon was not helping us as we realized we were doing this to become closer as a class and work on our teamwork. We finally decided that I would be the one lifting along with Owen. We lifted the first person, Matt, with ease, as he propelled himself over the wall and onto the platform. The rest of the team raised their arms as a spot so if the person fell, we would catch them. Then the next person, Peter, put his right foot on my hand and then he put his left foot on Owen's. We twisted around and lifted Peter up so he could grab the top of the wall. With a little help from Matt by grabbing his legs and bringing them over the side, Peter successfully made it over. The third person, Colin, also went up easily and since there was three people up, the first one had to go down. We all went to the other side of the wall to retrieve Matt. After six more times of lifting and pulling kids up and spotting them on the way down, it was my turn. Jake and Owen, the last two kids lifted me up and I went over the wall. Owen came up and joined me and now only Jake was on the bottom. Since no one could lift Jake because we had all gone over the wall, we thought of a new plan. We would tie kids shirts together and use them as a rope. I held the shirt rope as Jake jumped and grabbed it. I pulled him up and then he grabbed on to the top edge of the wall. Owen grabbed his legs and brought them over. Jake rolled onto the platform, and we had conquered the wall. As a team we figured out that it would be impossible to do this on our own. I realized that everyone played a part in getting every person up, whether it was you going up, lifting the person up, helping him get over, or even spotting, we could not have done that without even one person. The activity brought us all closers as friends, and showed how important teamwork can be. The wall was a problem for one person, but our teamwork was a problem for the wall. Getting over the wall was only possible with teamwork, but we also needed courage.
Even talking takes courage. At Camp Caribou we had to be courageous to shared our thoughts and fears for this upcoming year. We all gathered around in a circle as Mr. Boonisar asked as questions about how we felt about the new school year. The questions were personal and we had to use courage to speak up. Early Wednesday night the whole class of 2016 Fenn Seniors sat in the Dining hall of Camp Caribou as we talked about next year. We were having this talk to help bring us closer as a group and make each other feel more comfortable with one another. We already were friends and some what comfortable with each other, but it was still tough to talk about our fears. It was the lots of courage that helped me speak up. "What are some of your fears for this year," Mr. Boonisar exclaimed. The room was dead silent as everyone thought about the question. Everyone was nervous to speak, but someone finally did. "I am scared of not getting into the school I want," says one kid courageously. A few other kids talked, but felt awkward doing it. It was uncomfortable to share your fears with 24 kids, and a few adults, but I felt like I had too. I slowly raised my hand hoping that Mr. Boonisar would miss my hand. He called on me and my time of courage came, "I feel like my biggest fears of the year are going to be public speaking, and the senior reflection." I looked around, no one was laughing everyone just acknowledged it and Mr. Boonisar went on to the next hand. The talk went on, and I felt comfortable. I didn't feel nervous anymore, and I felt like everyone was my close friend. I realized taking risks isn't a bad thing because your friends will have your back. I think I will be able to speak more and more easily this year, now knowing my class has my back. It was the courage I expressed, that led to a successful trip.
It was teamwork that brought me to the top of the tree; it was friendship that created the team, but it was courage that got me to jump off.