On our first day, we danced. It was indeed challenging, but not until today did our group of five truly experience the meaning of the Adventure Semester.
Our challenge was to walk into the town of Paonia from our mountain camp (and back) without being seen by anyone. When we began, our groups’ dynamics were very flawed, and to put it simply, there were not good vibes. After a half hour of trudging down the hill towards the irrigation ditch, disagreeing, arguing, and questioning ourselves, we began to understand what was necessary to succeed as a team.
We began to work through mental, emotional, and indeed physical challenges together. In time, we came to the ever-looming terror of the irrigation ditch. By this time, we were much more aware of each other’s personalities, comfort zones, physical abilities and limits. So, to avoid being seen, and to better meet the needs of each member, we split up in to groups of two (including our leader Ari). Dave and I (Sage) walked along the slippery side of the ditch, Ari and Jill walked precociously past the barn, and Catherine and Oscar just waded right on in.
Unfortunately, we were all spotted. As the adventurer Mikayla saw me, I panicked and dramatically rolled into the water. I subsequently attempted to help Dave across on my shoulders. As you may have guessed, that did not go very well. By the time we all met up on the other side of the irrigation ditch, two of us were soaked through head to toe and two of us were in our underwear.
Unfazed by the fact that we had been seen, we continued our trek down in to town. We snuck through farmland, multiple acres of private property, and stopped to have lunch with some cows. When we arrived at the gas station, we had given up on staying hidden, and agreed as a group that even without completing the logistics of the challenge, we had learned a lot about each other, our selves, and why it is necessary to function cooperatively while on such a wearing adventure.
There were plenty of mistakes made, plenty of failures, and indeed plenty of success. I believe that we all took away more than one lesson from the experience, and achieved a great height of joy. So, in our singing, dancing, laughing, crying, and falling, many could say that we did not complete the challenge (specifically those who watched from the barn porch), but we all feel as though we did.