By Julia B. ’24
Photos by Ms. Kenny
Team building can be a difficult task, especially in Middle School. The seventh grade accepted that challenge on its trip last week to Refreshing Mountain Retreat and Adventure Center. Fears were faced when flying down ziplines, and bonds were made around a fun-filled campfire. The main goal of the trip was to connect the class as a whole, and we came out of the trip stronger as a group.
One of the most difficult things for many people was the giant swing. It is called the giant swing because you are harnessed to a rope and the entire team pulls you up to the top of a pole. You then pull a cord and swing back and forth until lowered back to the ground. A lot of my classmates were very uneasy about it, including myself, but others put forth encouragement to give nearly everyone enough confidence to do the activity. One of the craziest things about the swing is you have to do it yourself. Once you get all the way up, there is no way down other than to pull the tiny orange cord that will cause you to fall backward. You need to have faith in yourself and in the knowledge that you’ll be safe.
While being fun, lots of these activities taught us values that we will keep with us forever. We learned the most from the team-building activities. Many of these revolved around listening to each other to solve puzzles. Our group quickly found this was not easy because we all have such different personalities. Therefore, these activities also taught us more about ourselves. We saw who fit into a leadership position and who would follow along. It took patience, perseverance and logic to get it done, but we all found the answer to each puzzle. We found that sometimes all it takes is communication between one another or just simple manners. If our grade had not taken this adventure together, we would not be as close as we are now.
The zipline was the highlight of the trip. Lots of our group had been ziplining before. For me, it was a new experience. I have always been scared of heights, but for this trip I decided, along with many of my classmates, to get over that fear. My class pushed me to make the decision to go, and for that I am thankful. Over the three days, we changed a great deal. I saw the side of my classmates that showed support for each other. It was truly a special thing to behold.
As I went down the zipline, I could hear the group cheering me on. I felt like I could do anything, just because of that reliance I knew I could place on my classmates.
The Class of 2024 went into the trip as classmates, but we came out a connected group of friends. We never realized that racing each other in go-karts and freezing while waiting to take our turn on activities was bringing us closer.
The seventh grade needed a trip like Refreshing Mountain to challenge us. Even though we learned many things on the trip, the most important discovery we made was that that we could rely on each other.