I was standing fifty feet in the air on a small platform. All that was keeping me from falling to the ground were two carabineers. I was supposed to jump off, and I wasn’t really very keen on that idea.
“Are you okay over there?” Layla was already on the other platform, and was waiting for me.
“Um…fine…” My response was muffled. I had put my hands over my face, so as to hide the fact that I was blushing.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” She asked. I asked myself the exact same question. I couldn’t come up with a good excuse. I felt slightly foolish for being afraid. And with an inward scream, I jumped off the platform.
I let out a real scream as I was ziplining over the treetops, hurtling along towards the next platform.
I think I am getting ahead of myself a bit. The aforesaid situation occurred during our fall trip at Sandy Springs Friends School. We had an amazing trip, where we learned from and about one another, and came together as a class.
We began the day with a bus ride. It was an unusually subdued ride, perhaps as a result of the fact that it was 8:00 in the morning, and most of us had woken up early to get to school on time. We arrived at Sandy Springs around 9:00.
After dropping our lunches off, we headed for a big field. While we were there, we played some games, to get us moving. (Oddly enough, they all involved rock, paper, scissors…?). We then broke into groups for low ropes.
The first time, we only got about seven people through. We regrouped, and tried once more. This time, we got everyone through. It involved lifting several people through holes four or five feet off the ground. I was very afraid. I just didn’t trust that my group could lift me through a hole without dropping me. I was proved wrong, and gained much more confidence in every person in my group. Trust is not something that I give to people readily, and this exercise made me realize that perhaps I was being a bit stingy. People deserve trust from the beginning. Once they have shown their true colors, you can choose to revoke trust. It’s your decision.
After lunch, we headed for the high ropes. This was what I had been looking forward to all day! This was what I was there for! I heard only half of what we were supposed to do with the carabineers attached my harness (thankfully, someone had been listening, and told me what to do). There was the predictable stampede to start climbing, but I made it onto a course and started.
I climbled across the first bridge, ended on a platform, and that brings us back to the beginning of this story. But after the zipline, nothing could scare me. The rest of the three hours went by in a whirlwind. The last few stragglers came off the course, and we headed for the bus.
One hour (perhaps more, the event is very fuzzy in my mind) later, we made it back to school. After dinner, the sun set, and we were ready to play capture the flag.
This was probably the most fun I had all day. It was dark, no one could see where anyone else was, and everyone had the same goal. It was all about stealth and hiding. We played a few rounds of the game, and then we walked over to the pond for s’mores. I was very happy about this, and I think that was the attitude shared by most of the class.
After getting our fingers sufficiently sticky, we headed back to the middle school to watch a movie, which turned out to be The Goonies. I watched some of it, but it was a bit to creepy for my taste. We headed to bed afterwards. For a half hour we whispered to one another, but I fell asleep quickly.
The next morning we woke up around 7:30. We got into the minibuses after breakfast, and headed to Potomac State Park to plant trees. I had a really good time doing this. How often are you going to be able to get covered in dirt? We planted a lot of trees, and I felt good about the work we were doing.
We went back to Garrison, and our trip was over.I talked with a few other girls about our trip, and their favorite part was the high ropes. I couldn’t agree more. A few said that they wouldn’t ever forget the feeling of flying on a zip line. Some learned things about themselves. Some learned things about others.I learned… a lot. I learned about acceptance, and what we really want. I learned not to expect too much, but not to set your expectations low. I learned how to find the big dipper, and what someone else thought about the stars. I met someone I had known for a year. It set me on the right track for the year ahead.I probably won’t remember this trip forever. How can I know right now? I think that I’ll find though, in the year to come, that the important lessons I learned on this trip will stay, even though I may not remember being afraid to zip line.
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Written by: Lily D.