On Saturday November 7th, I woke up at 7:25, after getting a relaxing extra hour more of sleep than I do during the week. After a lovely breakfast of whole-wheat bagels and cereals, the members of Semester 43 set out for a day hike in the Camden Hills. We hiked at a leisurely pace up the north side of the mountain where snow remaining from earlier in the week littered the sides of the path. It was quite treacherous as the rocks closer to the summit were slippery with ice. I have been on many hikes before I came to Chewonki, and for a one hour climb, this view was one of the most breathtaking I have ever seen. The clear blue sky reflected off the glimmering ocean. The grayish brown rolling hills stretched on for miles and fields of snow were visible in the distance. The wind felt nice and crisp as I sat down against a rock and stared into the openness. The majestic beauty that lay before made me realize that I never ever wanted to leave a place so beautiful as Maine. Unfortunately I could not gaze in wonder forever as we were trying to get back to Chewonki for lunch. The leaves were wet and slippery coming down and I fell to the back of the group while helping my friends navigate the rocks as I discussed my animosity towards plastic bags. When we arrived back at the bus, it was already fifteen minutes past lunchtime, and we were and hour away from campus! Nobody seemed to mind; we had all enjoyed ourselves too much to care if we were late.
After sleepily rolling out of the bus, we arrived to a lunch of grilled cheese, tomato soup and rice crispy treats—my favorite! I then had to think ahead to Saturday night. Every Saturday night, a different dish crew plans an activity, and this weekend it was my dish crew’s turn to plan it. After many brainstorming lunches earlier in the week, we had decided upon holding a Chewonki Prom. But this prom was not like any usual prom, instead of buying a dress or even wearing your regular clothes for that matter, you had to make your own outfit. So after lunch, my cabin mates and I went to the art room to create priceless, one of a kind, prom dresses. I felt like I was on “Project Runway” as I was constructing a dress with a plastic bag skirt and a newspaper top.
At four o clock, I ran back to my cabin to change into overalls and bean boots and headed out to the farm for voluntary weekend farm chores with my friend Michelle. It was a gorgeous evening and I was in awe of the sunset as it cast rays of orange light into the barn. We fed the sheep, quieting their persistent bleating, and collected the eggs of the afternoon (accidently dropping a few!). I gave a shovelful of crushed apples, byproducts of last week’s cider pressing, and a bale of hay our draft horse, Sal. Finally we led the three cows into the barn for the night: Lola (the milk cow), her young son Gus, and Adeline, a shocking twenty year old cow who has earned her stay at the Salt Marsh Farm. After milking Lola, we came back to a traditional Lebanese meal prepared by a group of students who volunteered to cook for that night.
At 8:00 the doors opened to Chapin Hall and a stream of recycling-clad semester students streamed in. Even our teachers got in the spirit and made their own trash bag dresses! It seems that at Chewonki, everything comes at the perfect time, just when you are in the mood for it. The Prom was one of those events. All of our energy from a week of essays, tests, chores and homework was released as we danced into the night (or until 10:00). After a short stargazing on the lower field we all retired to our respective cabins for the night. I smiled to myself, thinking that in no other place could I hike a mountain, milk a cow, go to prom and then stargaze among friends all in one, single day. And to think that it was just a regular Saturday!
-Sara Clark, PA