68 Moments I’ll Never Forget

68 moments I’ll never forget from Semester 68:

  1. Arriving on the very first day and meeting all the staff, including my advisor and cabin parents!
  2. Waking up on the second day when our fire went out overnight; it was FREEZING, and no one wanted to get out of bed!
  3. Doing Phenology for the first time, and then over the course of the semester, including trekking out to Ideal Point in two feet of snow! It was incredible to see everything grow and bloom as spring came.
  4. Playing games for the first few nights, including Uno and Anomia, my personal favorite.
  5. Watching the first snow of our semester fall as we stood on the bridge to the Allen at the end of Study Hours.
  6. The crazy Nor’easter we got just a couple weeks in; there was two feet of snow, and a group of 20 of us went outside to play in the snow for hours!
  7. Our first dinner theme; formal with “a twist.” I wore a dress, glittery socks, and a bucket hat with money on it!
  8. Watching Mamma Mia as one of our first Saturday Night Activities. Everyone had been listening to “Dancing Queen” on repeat that whole week, so once it came on, everyone was belting their hearts out at the screen!
  9. My backcountry trip! We went cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on Wood Cove in Jackman, ME, for 4 days. I even spent one night sleeping in a quinzhee, which is similar to an igloo!
  10. Once we got back from backcountry trips, we had our own Chewonki Winter Olympics! We competed in dish crews, and my team won 3rd place overall!
  11. One night at sunset, I decided to walk to Ideal Point and show my friends my Phenology spot. Our group began to grow, and suddenly half of the semester was walking out to watch the most beautiful sunset together! We had such a great time.
  12. Seeing the Steller’s sea eagle! It’s a super rare bird from Russia that we all got super lucky to get the chance to see. One day at lunch we got an announcement that it was spotted at a bridge near Chewonki, and we all ran to the vans to go and see it! It was pretty hidden behind the trees, but you could see its bright orange beak from where we were.
  13. Doing chores every morning! Chores rotated every two weeks, and I got to help in the kitchen, clean bathrooms, clean classrooms, and take the trash out!
  14. I was the person who woke up earliest every morning (4:50 am!), so I’ll always remember the feeling of getting to the Wallace first every day in the pitch black and turning on the lights.
  15. Doing English field journals in the morning before everyone else was awake. I’d walk to Hoyt’s or the waterfront at 5:00 am, guided only by my headlamp and shivering in my Crazy Creek. But, the sunrises I saw were worth it!
  16. There was one super warm day in February, so we all got to eat outside for the first time! It was so fun sitting at the picnic tables with all of my friends. 
  17. For my dishcrew’s Saturday Night Activity, we put on a Carnival! We had games like Blackjack, Ring Toss, Trivia, and a Ping Pong tournament, and we decorated the Wallace with tons of paper chains. It was so much fun!
  18. Doing a Polar Plunge when it was -4℉ out! Our hair froze instantly, and it took a solid 5 minutes standing in the hot shower for me to be able to feel my feet again.
  19. Having Travel Natural History Program as my first work program with my friend Flynn. I got to help clean the aviaries that are home to a lot of rescued owls, and I got to hold a snake!
  20. Cooking brunch (many times) with my friends! We had so much fun making pancakes, eggs, migas, and other things.
  21. Sledding along the nature trail one Sunday afternoon. We caught so much speed on one curve, and I have a great video of my friend Aiden wiping out on a log!
  22. Watching a sheep get sheared! It was very entertaining and informative.
  23. My friends and I used chopsticks for one meal that the kitchen served, and it became our thing! We’d use chopsticks at every meal, no matter if it was eggs, oatmeal, sandwiches, etc. Forks were very frowned upon.
  24. One of my favorite work programs was chopping wood at the woodlot! I got to spend two hours with my friends, chatting as we split huge stumps into small logs for future semesters’ use!
  25. One Saturday night, a dishcrew planned a game of flashlight tag throughout campus. We’d have a few minutes to hide before seekers came for us, and we even played some really challenging rounds with no light at all!
  26. My AP US History class took a field trip to Lewiston-Auburn for an afternoon. We got to see what we were learning about at the time (mill towns and the Industrial Revolution) in real life; it was fascinating!
  27. The day we all got back from Spring Break, one of my cabinmates, Josie, came late because her flight got delayed. We were in the middle of eating dinner when my whole cabin saw her walking across the quad, and we all rushed out and gave her a huge hug, which turned into a dogpile!
  28. On our first two days of Outdoor Leadership Weekend (OLW), my group took a course to get our Wilderness First Aid certifications! We had so much fun learning how to deal with different crises, practicing splints and tying slings, and creating situations where we’d have to treat each other’s injuries.
  29. I spent the second half of OLW on encampment. I had such a great time with my group bonding on the challenge course, setting up and sleeping in tarp shelters, and cooking meals on the campfire together!
  30. One morning I decided to walk to Pinky Point with my friend Jaden to watch the sunrise. We had such a nice time, and the sunrise was absolutely gorgeous!
  31. Dishcrew was one of my favorite activities at Chewonki. I always had a blast with my friends cleaning plates and putting pots and pans away as we danced around the dishroom to our favorite songs.
  32. On one of our science field labs, we went to a stream to collect and study invertebrates. It was the first time we wore our hip waders, and it was so much fun getting to walk through and sit in the water without worrying about getting wet. Plus, we found some really cool organisms!
  33. Some of my favorite memories are from playing volleyball with my friends. We started playing in the barn when it was too cold to be outside, which was pretty challenging with 6+ people playing. Once the warm weather came, we moved to the quad, and then after Spring Break my friend Jackson set up a volleyball net on Orchard Field. We played so many fun games and had a blast!
  34. One Sunday when I was cooking brunch, my friends Aiden, Otis, and I decided to make cinnamon rolls. However, we mixed up how much we had to multiply the recipe by to make enough for 60+ people, and accidentally made over 200!
  35. Farm chores! I was in charge of feeding the two calves, Grandpa and Hubbard, and mucking their stalls. I grew to love them so much and missed them once my two weeks of chores were over.
  36. Getting to see all the new animals arrive on the farm! One of the most special moments was on my cabin’s first day of farm chores, when the first lamb was born! It was so exciting to see all the lambs, chicks, and baby turkeys come and live in our barn!
  37. The salt marsh field lab was one of my favorites of the entire semester. I didn’t get very muddy, but it was hilarious to see everyone get caked in mud and have to get hosed down after!
  38. All the Taylor Swift dance parties we had in South Hall! We would have so much fun blasting “Speak Now” or “Red” and singing and dancing around the cabin.
  39. Big night! One night when it was damp and rainy out, my science teachers took us to Frog Pond before check in to see all the amphibians moving into the pond. I got to see wood frogs, spring peepers, and even got to hold a spotted salamander!
  40. We played Family Feud on one Saturday night. All the questions were Chewonki themed, and it was really fun to guess what all the students said. South Hall got second place, unfortunately beaten by Gordy!
  41. Celebrating Passover and Easter! We had a Passover seder and an Easter brunch, both cooked by students, which were delicious! Everyone wore nice clothes and we made a mega table with all the tables in the Wallace so we could all eat together and celebrate!
  42. Going on walk jars! Once a week we’d be assigned a partner to go on a 15 minute (or longer) walk with, just so we had an opportunity to chat with people we may not normally talk to. I had some great conversations with people that I didn’t interact with before that I really enjoyed!
  43. Camping with South Hall! On Fridays and Saturdays, groups of students were allowed to go camping together. My cabin decided to go one Saturday on Club Point, and we had such a great time together talking in our hammocks and playing card games.
  44. Seeing the porcupine for the first time! I was really confused at first by the brown lump on Lower Field, but upon further inspection I saw its spikes and didn’t get any closer! It was so cool to see it in real life, especially because it’s talked about so much throughout the campus!
  45. Dressing up for a “Halloween” dinner theme! Everyone got super creative with their costumes; people dressed up as everything from cowboys to tourists to hippies and everything in between!
  46. One of the most special things at Morning Meeting was when we all sang together. We sang songs like “Lean On Me” and “I Knew This Place,” and it really made the community feel connected!
  47. As spring came along, it was so exciting seeing everything come to life. The campus suddenly turned from bare trees and dirt to flowers of all colors growing on the quad, a blooming canopy of oak and maple leaves stretching along the road, and a symphony of birds nesting in the branches above.
  48. The excitement of lambing season never ended, even as the number of pregnant ewes got lower and lower. One day, we found out right before our first period class that a new lamb had just been born, and my AP Calculus class convinced our teacher to let us take a “math related” field trip to the farm to see it! We soon found out that we weren’t the only class to do so, and it was so amazing to be with so many of my friends watching the brand new lamb as it stood and nursed for the first time. 
  49. My solo was one of the best experiences during my time at Maine Coast Semester. It was 48 hours of nice peace and quiet, and gave me a lot of time for reflection. I did a lot of reading, journaling, and sleeping!
  50. For one of my work programs, I made varenykys in the kitchen. Varenykys are a traditional Ukrainian meal made from potatoes, and they were extremely popular among the students and faculty. Whenever we had them, there would be no leftovers because everyone loved them so much!
  51. Celebrating after the AP US History Test! Studying for the APUSH test was definitely stressful, and it was so nice to put it all behind me after we took it. My entire class was cheering on the van ride back from the testing center, and we played “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang on repeat!
  52. One Saturday when it was super hot out, we got a bunch of tarps and a sprinkler and made a slip and slide behind the Allen! We all got pretty dirty and there were definitely some cuts and bruises involved, but it was such a fun time.
  53. Our first time getting to swim at the waterfront! Once it got warm enough out, we got to actually swim at the waterfront with PFDs instead of just dipping like a Polar Plunge. We had so much fun getting to swim to the floating docks and jumping off them into the chilly water. 
  54. On one Saturday night, a dishcrew planned a movie night in the hayloft in the barn. We all brought blankets to sit on and watched the Banff Film Festival, which is a collection of films that are all nature related. It was super interesting to watch!
  55. During one of my Farm and Food Systems classes, we got to help Megan, the farm manager, weigh the month-old lambs! We had to corral them from the pasture and each of us held one as Tori, another farmer, recorded their weights. It was one of the cutest things I’ve ever experienced!
  56. I always had such a nice time studying for species quizzes on Thursdays after work program. The science room was always empty, so Aiden and I would always go down and look at all the specimens that our teachers had collected and quiz each other. 
  57. I was so excited after correctly identifying a pileated woodpecker for the first time! It was one of the species on our weekly species quizzes, and it was awesome to see it in real life.
  58. Gorp Morp, aka our prom! I had such an amazing night dancing with my friends in the barn, taking lots of photos, and singing along to our favorite songs. My favorite moment was at the end, when we all stood in a circle and sang “Leaving On A Jet Plane” by John Denver. It was such a bittersweet moment as our semester was coming to a close.
  59. I loved when we had coffeehouses! It was so cool seeing all my friends perform songs, dances, skits, poetry, etc. My friend Carly and I taught two camp songs that we knew, and I sang “Our Last Summer” by ABBA on our last coffeehouse, which was the night before we left.
  60. My friends and I would take walks every Saturday night, since check in was at 11. We’d go to Hoyt’s, Pinky, the waterfront, Ideal, and other places on the Neck, and spend our time talking or playing card games in the woods! We always had such a nice time together.
  61. Normally at Morning Meeting, we sit with our cabins on different benches. One morning, all 41 of us decided to squish onto one set of benches. It definitely wasn’t comfortable, but we were all laughing and having a great time.
  62. On the Saturday before we left, we took a day trip to Monhegan Island. We spent the day hiking and learning all about the beautiful island and the residents that live there year-round, and it was one of my favorite trips of the entire semester. Plus, the boat ride was really fun; the waves weren’t very calm, and I loved it!
  63. We had a “triathlon” one Sunday afternoon, which we called the Great Goose Race. It involved running a mile, carrying an egg from the quad to the waterfront, and swimming between the two docks. I was part of a team with Aiden, the runner, and Jackson, the egg carrier, and we called ourselves “We The People” since we’re all in APUSH together. It was a challenge, but we won first place!
  64. The Sunday before we left, we got to do Contra Dancing! It was so much fun to dance around the Wallace with all my friends to folk music. At the end, a bunch of us were really hot, so we set up the sprinkler and ran through it, getting soaked!
  65. During Peak Week, we had a lot of van rides as we went to visit places like Monhegan, Morse Mountain, and a fish ladder. On the first few van rides, my friends and I would play “Send Me On My Way” and sing it at the top of our lungs. It became a tradition and we couldn’t ride in the vans without playing it!
  66. Going on hikes with my South Hall. We went on a hike at the beginning of the semester and at the end. It was filled with lots of laughs, and it was really cool to reflect together on how we had changed since the start of the semester.
  67. On the Thursday before we left, we had graduation. It was a really special night as we got to reflect on our time and write a letter to the entire semester, and got to watch our teachers sing songs as we prepared to leave. 
  68. On our very last night, we all slept in the Wallace together. Almost everyone stayed up super late playing card games, listening to music, talking, and even baking at 2 AM! We savored our last night together and wrapped up our semester in a really special way.

Thank you Semester 68 for all these memories, and even more that I’ll never forget. These have been the best four months of my life with you all. I’ll miss you dearly, but I’m sure more fun times together lie ahead!

Peyton West, Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles, CA

Inspired by Sophia Waterston: 67 Moments I’ll Never Forget (Semester 67) and Maya Kelly: The Little Things I’ll Never Forget (Semester 66)

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