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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wellness Camping Trip 2014

On Sunday and Monday of this week, Ms. Robinson and Ms. Stein took a group of Yeshivah of Flatbush students on a nature and camping trip as part of our Wellness Tze U'Lemad class. 

For some of us, the camping experience began with an intricate branch from the ground. For others, it began with a rock, a flower, or even a torn up M&Ms wrapper. Allow me to explain. 

Arriving at Indian Head, I expected it to be like any other camping trip- one focused solely on the aspect of getting down and dirty. However, Ms. Robinson and Ms. Stein introduced nature through a very unique perspective. After settling in our cabin, we each created our own journals that we would be using throughout the rest of the trip. We crafted these journals creatively using artifacts of nature. Ms. Robinson advised us to explore the land and pick up objects from the ground that caught our eye; it should be something we found to be interesting, confusing, or even inspirational. After finding this mystery object, we were asked to write an excerpt that would speak from its inanimate perspective. This fun exercise gave us a chance to really understand the role and beauty of nature by thinking in a completely different point of view.

Afterwards, we went rafting through the Delaware River. Through this hour of intense paddling, we discovered the importance of teamwork and also the painful, yet purifying effect of the cold water. Inspired by Ms. Robinson’s accidental, yet hysterical, encounter with the river, many of us voluntarily jumped in. Yes, the water felt like pins and needles piercing through our bodies, but it also drastically changed our mentalities; we now felt refreshed and exhilarated. The sweatshirts some of us regretfully wore were still soaked the next day.
When returning to the cabin, we each assigned ourselves with a specific task in preparing our feast. With Ms. Robinson’s expert barbeque skills and Ms. Stein’s remarkable knowledge of sustaining a campfire, we were well prepared for an amazing night. After dinner, we each chose a branch and attempted to make s’mores using different techniques (some more successful than others). As we all snuggled around the warm campfire, we partook in meaningful conversations about enjoying life, finding ourselves, and discovering what makes us happy. Hours later, when the fire blew out, we went to bed full and content.

We woke up the next morning to the combinational sounds of the birds chirping and the lyrics of Grace Potter’s single, “Paris (Ooh La La).” After finding a quiet spot by the river to pray at, we spent our last few hours at Indian Head doing yoga by the river, writing in our journals, and taking in the beauty of nature we all came to appreciate. On behalf of the Wellness crew, I’d like to thank Ms. Robinson and Ms. Stein for one of the most wonderful experiences of our school year. ~Marielle Salem