by Jolijt T '11

The 8th Grade Poconos Trip

On the day before the last day of school the former BSGE 8th grade was busy getting their funk on with nature. They went to the Poconos Environmental Education Center (P.E.E.C) in the Pennsylvania Poconos.
On Monday at 9:00am (sharp) 48 BSGE students and 4
teachers boarded two coach buses. With snacks in hand
and sleeping bags in cargo the 8th graders (and Niki, Mrs.
Africano, Linda and Mr. Powell) began their adventure.
The first bus smelled like someone dumped a bottle
of cherry flavored Tylenol all over the backseat. Turns
out the bus company just had something for the cherry
smell. The bathrooms were hot because they were right
by the engine so the bathroom smelled like hot cherries,
which was even more disgusting. I am never going to eat
hot cherries.Even though the bathroom was hot the air
conditioning in the bus was on full blast. Meghan McCullough
was even sitting in a small corner rocking back and
forth and chanting. That’s how cold she was!
Wow! You guys must be dreading the trip, so
far I’ve described a freezing bus, hot cherries and a nasty
bathroom! Well I’m just getting started. The trip was actually
the best trip of the whole school year.
When we arrived at PEEC we were all ready to chill in the
cabin for the rest of the night. That’s one thing you learn
quickly, there isn’t much resting in PEEC. We got to the
cabins and began to unpack. The girls all slept in one
cabin. There were two rooms with about 10 bunk beds in
each room. The rooms had a connecting hallway but each
room had a separate bathroom. The boys slept in the
other cabin but there weren’t many of them so they
shared one room and one bathroom. The chaperones
slept in a separate (but connected) room.
We had just begun relaxing when we were informed
that we needed to get up and socialize outside.
We walked down to the pavilion and ate/played volleyball
and soccer.
After that we went into the woods to do
team building activities. We spilt up into four teams
and followed a teacher. The “team building” activities
were difficult to say the least. There were 6 different
activities complete with scenarios, challenges
and rules. In one activity the whole team had to get
across a swap with three planks. In another activity
the whole team had to climb up a wall. (I was pretending
I was in boot camp like in that Disney Channel
movie with Hilary Duff).
Then half of us went off to play games
like “everyone’s it tag” and “a what?”. The other half
went to do courage courses. (Don’t worry everyone
got to do everything, we switched the next day).
There were four levels to the courage courses. At
the first level you had to walk across a tightrope
while holding onto another tightrope. Then you had
to walk across a tightrope while holding onto another tightrope.  Then you had only 6 loose
George of the Jungle ropes. In the third level you and a partner
had to lean on each other to balance and
cross a tightrope. The last level was the hardest
(duh!!). We had to cross a tightrope with
just one loose rope. Only Karina was able to
do it.
Then we went back to the cabin to
relax for 20 minutes. When we heard dinner
we got up and rushed to the cafeteria. Unfortunately
that was when we learned we were really
in boot camp. We were served chicken
slop over rice. Luckily the salad bar was actually
After dinner we went back and
started a nice big campfire. Our teachers
bought smore supplies in bulk. We roasted
marshmallows and smashed them between
chocolate and graham.
As soon as it got dark we were told
to get up and move. We were separated into
three groups and then headed out for a night
hike. If you’ve never done a night hike you
don’t understand how cool this is. It was dark
and we had no idea what was going on. It was
also extremely easy to scare people (make
sure you get into a group with squealish girls).
We learned to use our other senses (it didn’t
really work because a lot of people had flashlights).
One of the staff members was my
guide and he scared us when he said he had
no idea were we where. (Don’t worry we got
back safe).
Then we were finally able to chill.
That is if you call fighting for the showers and
changing in 2 inch by 2 inch stalls chilling. We
all took showers (I hope) and then “got into
bed.” Lights out was at 11pm but lights out didn’t
really mean you had to go to bed. It actually
meant you had to be really, really quiet so that
the teachers didn’t know you were awake.
That was basically impossible. People (Kristen
Spang) were jumping up and down like hyper bunnies. I was hit in the head
with a flip flop (I didn’t really notice) and cell phones kept going off.
To top it all off we were all waiting for someone to
fall asleep so that we could play a prank on them.
Of course no one really thought of bringing and
prank materials. We tried to stick Band-Aids on
Hannah’s face but she woke up. People (Kristen
Spang) rubbed sunscreen all over my face and the
boys drew all over everyone’s faces. We snuck in
every junk food imaginable. I didn’t know Pamela
could fit Oreos and Rice Krispies in one tiny bag.
There were Doritos, Cheetos, Popcorn, Fruit
Loops, Twizllers and Swedish Fish. (And that’s
only what I remember).
We woke up at around 7ish and were told that we
needed to be packed, cleaned, dressed and ready
to go by eight. After that announcement came a
flurry of rolling sleeping bags, brushing teeth and
throwing clothes. We rushed our packing and then
lugged our bags up the hill to the main center.
Then we went across to the cafeteria for breakfast.
Breakfast was the best meal of the whole
trip. We ate eggs, sausage and cereal. After every
meal there were assigned swappers who had to
clean the tables off.
After more confidence courses and games
we went on another hike. It was a mile long. I think
their goal was to tire us out so that we would collapse
on the bus (it didn’t work).
We then went to lunch. The lunch was okay.
We ate pizza and more salad. Then we were told
to quickly clean up and head outside. We grabbed
our bags and ran to the buses. On the way back
we tried to watch High School Musical. We ended
up watching the music videos and signing along
because, to our disappointment, the movie wasn’t
working. We arrived back at 3:45 and all ran off the bus.
Then we picked up our bags and made our way home.
The adventure was over but the memory was


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