The weeks leading up to any opening day at Maine Coast Semester tend to be filled with anticipation and the meticulous planning of every last detail. Welcoming students in the middle of January always throws a little extra excitement into the mix, as the winter weather on Chewonki Neck begins to come into play. Semester 68’s arrival was no exception: January 22nd dawned bright and clear, but cold! The forecast of a high of 15 degrees Fahrenheit didn’t deter our faculty and staff from donning warm smiles behind their masks. Excitement was in the air as advisors met their advisees in person, bags were hauled off to cabins, and many students got their very first glimpse of campus. Some came from surrounding cities and towns, while others had much longer journeys from afar. Wherever they began, they all made it safely to Chewonki: their new home away from home.
After weeks of Zoom meetings, it was wonderful to see how excited students were to gather and begin their journey together. A lot took place over the past month to allow for this arrival to happen in person: we carefully planned a staggered arrival schedule, families followed our Health and Safety best practices for the 10 days before arrival, students submitted negative PCR tests before they set foot on campus, and took a rapid test right when they got here. In the end, all of the planning was well worth it to be able to finally connect face to face with students and their families. We are so grateful for all of the behind the scenes work that took place leading up to opening day in order to keep everyone safe and comfortable.
Since arriving on campus, students have quickly become acclimated to the routine here on Chewonki Neck. They have already been with us for one whole week, and it sure has been a busy one. There has been a coffeehouse, a scavenger hunt, knitting lessons, and a frigid polar bear dip! This semester is definitely off to a great and fun-filled start, and judging by all of the joyous laughs and hugs we see everyday, it is clear that they are already growing close and forming bonds that will stay with them throughout their lives. With the first big snowstorm of the season expected this weekend, they are even pros at operating their woodstoves! Their next big journey will be backcountry expeditions, which are right around the corner in early February. So many adventures await!
We are all thrilled to have Semester 68 here on campus with us. They come from 16 states and 36 different schools. They have vast and varied interests ranging from soccer to guitar, horseback riding to bird watching, and many more. It is a delight to hear their laughter ring out over the quad or to simply take a moment to chat while waiting for coffee to brew in the Wallace. We look forward to getting to know even more about them over the next few months!