GARNER STATE PARK CAMPING TRIP
By Albert Wright
Recently, a few eighth graders were chosen to attend a camping field trip to Garner State Park. These students were chosen because none of them had ever attended a camping trip. Mrs. Graves then assigned six adults to chaperone.
On Friday March 3, we all met in Mrs. Foster’s room to begin packing. Each of us were told to bring a backpack, water bottle, and clothes. We filled our bottles and said our goodbyes, then got into our assigned vans to travel to the park. We had a few stops to use the restroom and stock up for food. Then we went back to the road and saw lots of wildlife and sights so beautiful a camera couldn’t capture them.
We also stopped at Natural Bridge Caverns. We were lead down a trail to a dark cave and inside the cave we found a bear fossil and phenomenally beautiful rock formations. We even found a pond that rippled because a few stalactites were undergoing water erosion causing droplets of water to fall. As we moved deeper inside the cave, it became more humid and muggy. The guide then said, “We used to have to travel all the way back but now we can leave through this hole.” Then each of us ran out of that oven and inhaled the winter breeze until we became light headed. Then we walked back to our vans and unpacked our food. There was already a picnic area set at the caverns so we commenced a three course meal.
Then, we got back in our vans and headed to Garner State Park, which was beautiful. It had animals that I thought I’d never see in a million years. The breeze was breathtaking and the grass was so green. As we signed in, we ran outside and chose our own cabins. Each of our cabins seemed to have their own individual sort of personalities. My cabin seemed to have openness. It greeted us with open arms, it seemed like fate. After that, we assembled in the commons area to begin unpacking the food and materials for our weekend stay. We were then assigned to cook dinner. For Friday’s lunch we made hamburgers, mac n’ cheese, and hot dogs. At the tip of midnight, the campers began roasting popcorn.
Fast forward to Sunday as we all began to pack to go home. We all didn’t want to leave because we felt like a family. In one way we left a mark. Our mark is comradery because over that weekend we became family.
As we packed the last bag, we crawled into our assigned vans. We stopped at the gift shop and bought a few nicknacks, but one of my friends didn’t have enough money to buy anything. Mrs. Foster took her in the store and bought her a beautiful shirt. This is a true showing of kindness that we don’t often see anymore.
Finally, a trail of dust was left behind our campsite and we arrived home. Each of us sighed hoping we could go back to our beautiful, riveting, stellar camp. But we know: it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the experiences you have with friends and family.