During the trip, the 7th graders not only got to experience camping, but also hiking. On the first day, the students hiked to a nearby beach, only a short drive and two-mile hike away. The next day was a much longer hike along the Hoh River, a ten-mile destination hike in the wilderness to "5 Mile Island." This was the high of the trip and a true experience for the 7th grade to not only bond with their peers, but also with their teachers.
Throughout the trip, no electronics were allowed. But not just the students learned to be without their phones; the teachers did, too. Mr. LeTellier explained, "I enjoyed talking to Senorita Milasich, Mr. Read, and Mrs. Woletz on the long bus ride." It was a long, four hour bus ride out to Forks, and with no electronics, the students and teachers were "forced" to talk to each other, without screens. Having four hours on a bus with half the grade really helped the students to know each other better and grow their relationship with everyone.
Not only only did this trip include hiking, but also many activities after the hiking. These activities included short walks down to the nearby river, hanging out with friends, talking with teachers, and making s'mores by the fire. Students were able to see another side to their teachers: the fun side. The students were also able to choose who they were in a tents with, so each night they were given about an hour to talk with their friends.
Of course some of the 7th graders were a bit hesitant to go on the camping trip, but as soon as we got there, everybody was very excited to explore. The nature that surrounded them was beautiful. They could look over the lake and see the beautiful evergreen trees. It was something you could only find in Washington, which helped the students appreciate our amazing state.
This year's capstone trip was a lot of fun and very memorable. With just one more year left at St. Joseph, this trip was definitely one to remember. Even though their clothes were wet and muddy by the end of the trip, they all made memories and new friendships with each other.
In an interview, Mr. Hess had said, "I hope what we get out of this is to appreciate nature." Mission accomplished.