67 Moments I’ll Never Forget

67 moments I’ll never forget from Semester 67…

  1. On the first day exploring all the cabins with Julia and Kemi trying to make new friends. 
  2. The first night in Orchard Cabin — sharing details of our lives, playing board games, and staying up laughing. 
  3. Being brought to my phenology spot the day after we arrived. Watching my spot on Pinky Point turning into a second home at Chewonki. 
  4. Choosing a 70s theme for our first Friday dinner dress up. 
  5. Our first work program on the farm, we picked potatoes! 
  6. Coming back from our first work program and having a dance party on the quad.
  7. The first field lab at Pemaquid Point. It was pouring rain and super windy, so the waves were insane! 
  8. Doing handstands and cartwheels on the quad during breaks in our schedule. 
  9. One of the first Friday nights, Orchard cabin stayed up late and we all painted our nails. Skylar accidentally falling asleep in my bed. 
  10. Shoshana was asleep, and the 6 of us in the cabin had a dance party at midnight on a school night while taking pictures around Shoshana’s bed. 
  11. Our first Saturday night activity, which Orchard got to organize! We dressed up and coordinated with teams and we played a game to get to know each other better. 
  12. Running down to the waterfront often to watch the sunset with friends. 
  13. The first coffee house when Julia and I performed a dance to “Let it Go” from Frozen. We had people singing, backup dancers, and even body guards! 
  14. Spending so much time in the hayloft. I wrote in my scrapbook to describe the hayloft as a place “Where we go to ‘work’ but never get anything done; instead we walk away with hay all over our clothes having spent an hour laughing and listening to music with friends.” 
  15. A really fun work program just two weeks into the semester! We pulled lots of kale into a truck which was super fun but also a lot of work. We then washed carrots while blasting the radio and singing to whatever song came on. And lastly, we even stayed extra time to help walk Grandpa (the cow!) to another pasture. 
  16. Falling asleep in random places and waking up to emails of pictures of me sleeping.
  17. The Hilton bathroom parties! Coming back after study hours to debrief our days or blast music! 
  18. Catching frogs at the frog pond in a science class.
  19. Van rides to field labs filled with music, laughter, and many, many naps.
  20. On the St. Croix backcountry trip when we arrived at our first campsite: “Porters Meadow.” The sunset was so beautiful, and I was excited for the days ahead of us to get close with people I hadn’t had the chance to yet. 
  21. Dinners around the campfire and hearing stories from our lives. (An especially fun dinner was when Zachary, our trip leader, performed his “Mac n’ Cheese” song!)
  22. Bec (a teaching fellow on our trip) sang us “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell while we were about to fall asleep and all snuggled up in our tents. 
  23. Canoe sailing on our last day of the St. Croix trip! We put all our boats together to make a raft and then put a tarp up as our sail. 
  24. Coming back from all of our backcountry trips and giving each other the biggest hugs on planet earth. Thinking to myself how lucky I am to have been gone for just a couple days, from people I have only known for a month, and already we missed each other so much. 
  25. Our fourth field lab: the salt marsh! Kemi and I both gave up on staying dry and basically went swimming for the whole field lab even though it was mid-October. 
  26. Walking back with mud-covered clothing from the salt marsh and racing to claim the showers. 
  27. Everyone ordered Chewonki merch one week, and suddenly the campus turned into a swarm of students in forest green hoodies, Chewonki hats, and water bottles. 
  28. Waking up early to do farm chores every morning for two weeks! I loved getting to know the turkeys, and also being able to see the insanely beautiful sunrises every morning. 
  29. One Saturday morning activity we did pumpkin carving! Though Orchard cabin did not win the competition, it was one of my favourite Chewonki mornings. 
  30. Watching the leaves change colours and being in constant awe of the beauty that was my home for over 3 months. 
  31. Outdoor leadership weekend which included an encampment to train for our solos, and having lessons to be WFA (Wilderness First Aid) certified! 
  32. On our encampment, we had a mini practice solo where we got to spend 30 minutes alone in the dark. I journaled for the first time which started an addictive habit of journaling!
  33. Waking up early with my cabin to do homework before morning chores. Faith would wake up and then wake the rest of the cabin up with blasting songs. Some of the morning songs I became accustomed to waking up to included “What Does the Fox Say,” “Enter Galactic,” and “Industry Baby.” 
  34. Going to phenology every Saturday and never wanting to leave my beautiful spot on Pinky Point!
  35. Having the opportunity to get close and go on walks with teachers.
  36. Being checked in every night and sometimes even being read bedtime stories. 
  37. Finding out you have random mutual friends with people here!
  38. Departing for our solos. We all stood in a circle and each cabin shared a quote that resonated with them. My cabin’s quote was, “get ready, pop it, let’s go” from our favourite morning wake up song of “Enter Galactic.”
  39. First arriving at my solo location. Literally running around screaming out of joy I was so excited for the next 48 hours. 
  40. On my solo, I would sit in a little section of trees that had fallen from a storm and looked like a teepee to reflect on my life and who I am. 
  41. Around 5 pm on the second day of our solo’s, having Katie come and find me at my solo spot and being told that I had to come in and sleep at my cabin because the winds were going to be 45 – 50 miles per hour that night. 
  42. Knowing that I could spend 48 hours alone in the woods at age 16 and be okay!
  43. The day we got back from solos was Halloween. Orchard dressed up as Crazy Creeks and we won best costume! We then went trick or treating around all the faculty houses. One of my favourite nights at Chewonki.
  44. Choosing sunsets and sunrises as my natural history project. I would watch sunsets with my friends anyway, and now I had an excuse to feel productive by recording data while also blasting music and having fun at the waterfront. 
  45. Prom Night! Gillies cabin planned a dance for Saturday night activity and we all got dressed up and had a fun dance party in the barn. I wore my grandfather’s blazer to it! 
  46. At the end of prom, the song “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker played, and we all linked arms in a circle and belted our hearts out. 
  47. Spending afternoons with a bunch of people piled into one bed learning about each other’s lives and laughing hysterically.
  48. Having the opportunity to not have a phone for a semester! 
  49. Feeling like a little kid running around in nature. 
  50. Going to Popham Beach for a Saturday morning activity and not having to take notes. We ran around blasting music, exploring, playing games, and laughing constantly. 
  51. Isaac, Jack, and I (the Mandarin students) planned a Saturday dinner of dumplings! Yingying, our amazing Mandarin teacher, helped organize it and stayed with us for 6 hours in the kitchen cooking! We had lots of people come in and out helping as well. The effort was worth the end result of our delicious meal — we made over 500 dumplings!
  52. After our dumpling feast it was time for Orchard to plan our second Saturday night activity. We did a karaoke night in our backcountry groups. It was so fun to reconnect with our backcountry group almost two months later and share the same laughs and connections we did on our trip. 
  53. Our field lab to the bog! This was maybe my favourite field lab, which says a lot, because I loved every single one. 
  54. After our trip to the bog, Stella, Skylar and I decided we loved the word ‘bog’ just as much as the place itself, so we decided to make it an adjective that translates to “dope” or “cool,” and we began to use it in our conversations.
  55. Gathering by the fire every night to debrief our days with my cabin. 
  56. Calling my cabin “home.”
  57. Thanksgiving week! Though I was so sad to spend it away from my family, it was a week full of activities and fun with my new second home. Some highlights included a beach trip, a hike, a sing-along, and another coffee house! The coffee house acts included singing, hot takes, dancing, stand up comedy, and much more. 
  58. Starting every morning with mindfulness and listening to life stories shared from faculty and students. 
  59. The first snow that happened during Thanksgiving break. We had all just finished our sing-along that had been indoors due to rain, and someone went outside and yelled “IT’S SNOWING!” It was such a magical moment to be together. Alfredo had never seen snow, so it was fun to watch his reaction. 
  60. Waking up the next morning with a fresh coat of snow. Even though it was only a couple inches, Chewonki looked like a whole new world. We had many snow ball fights, went sledding, and then cozied up indoors to play board games and drink warm beverages. 
  61. Dish crew every Monday morning and Friday night with my cabin! Though this sounds like a chore, it was a time of laughter, dance parties, and so much fun!
  62. Rearranging our beds in the cabin! Though we had to take apart our mega bed because of protocol, we still found many fun ways of re-organizing our cabin. 
  63. I made an activity book for my cabin to do one night. It included many pages of winter themed comic strips, word scrambles, colouring pages, crossword puzzles, and more! It was a memorable night of us gathered around the fire laughing and filling in our activity books. 
  64. Our last school meeting was writing notes to every single person here. I am going to treasure my paper full of notes forever!
  65. My cabin, Orchard, showed up to morning gather one morning in shorts. It was December! 
  66. Endless laughs with every single person here. 
  67. Although this list could go on forever, I will stop here. Watching myself and others grow throughout this semester, surrounded in an environment of nature and people I loved, will be something I will always remember. Having one week left of the semester, I am able to reflect back on all the amazing moments I have been fortunate enough to experience. These 3 and a half months have taught me so much, and I am so excited to take the lessons I have learned back home. Thank you, Semester 67, for everything!

Sophia Waterston, The Brearley School, New York, NY

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