Scholars Reflect On ASK’s 6th Annual Jemez Camping Trip

October 1, 2018



Photo courtesy of Gabriel Erickson — ASK scholars gathered to enjoy nature while on the 6th Annual Freshman and Sophomore Camping Trip.

By Anika DeLeewerk and Aalina Aragon

Last weekend marked the 6th annual ASK Academy freshman and sophomore camping trip. As sophomores, it was our first time going on the trip and we were both were really excited; we didn’t go last year because we missed the deadline. We heard stories about how fun the trip was from some of our friends. Lots of scholars told us about all the things they did together on the trip and about the new friends they had made.

We arrived at school on the day of the trip, but the excitement did not really set in until 2nd period when our math teacher, Bahador Mousavi, started talking about the trip. From there our excitement continued throughout the day. Finally, after a long day of waiting it was the start of 7th period; Aalina Aragon and I  changed clothes and met up outside of ASK, Laurie Erickson and Krista Pink assigned scholars to the cars they would be in; we were in the “party bus” with 10 other girls, most of them freshmen. Later on, we ate dinner at Wendy’s. When we finished dinner we got back onto the bus, we talked about life and sang songs; the ride to camp went by surprisingly fast.

At the campground, we wandered around for a while and talked with some friends, then went to unpack our stuff. We found out that we were in a tent together with two freshmen, Mackenzie Knittel, and Eva Hubbard; they were both very nice and fun to talk to. After we set up our gear we went for a walk around the campground. It was so beautiful, there were trees everywhere and a stream by what managers called “the kitchen.” We changed into warm clothes because it was freezing, and then we continued to walk around and had more fun.

When the sun went down, we all met in the “kitchen” and had a meeting, led by Daniel  Barbour. He explained what the trip was about and how many upperclassmen had met their “high school long friends” on these camping trips. Afterward, some scholars started singing songs on a random picnic table, a freshman brought out his guitar and before we knew it, it was 10pm, and the lights had to be out in our tents. We talked for a while and tried to get warm; that night it got down to 37 degrees.

After a restless night, we got up around 6:30 and ate muffins for breakfast. While we waited for other scholars to wake up, we went and crossed the precariously placed log that stretched from one side of the stream to the other, then ventured into the woods to look for firewood.

We got back just in time to be assigned our activity of the day. We had been put in Barbour’s group, the sightseeing tour. After packing sack lunches we headed out in a car with four freshmen and one other sophomore; the ride itself was fun; Barbour let one of the freshmen play their own music.

Our first stop was at a lookout, where Barbour told us all about Jemez; it was beautiful. Then we went to the valley below where there was a cave that the freshmen attempted to climb up to. After getting our shoes wet in the stream, we went to a mineral deposit. On one side of the road there was a stream and on the other, there was a hot spring. It was super cool, and really good photo opportunities.

After going to a gas station and eating lunch we drove to the Gilman tunnels, where we took a group photo, after getting soaked in the stream below. Then after climbing down to the stream from the road we fell in and got wet up to our necks; it was awesome. Our next stop was The Jemez Valley Monument, and our last stop was Camp Shaver, there we played 9 squares and human foosball, where Anika Deleewerk got stung by a bee. Finally, we headed back to camp after a really fun and eventful day.

It was dinner time and the parents and staff grilled burgers and hotdogs. After eating, we hung out with some of our sophomore friends. Quoya Gable-Lairsey danced on a the log that went across the stream while wearing a paper bowl hat on his head which kept falling in the water. After a brief water fight, Deleewerk was dragged into the stream and covered in mud, yet again.

It was getting late and we had bribed our friend into letting us do his makeup. Max De Jong did Gable- Lairseys eyeliner and Aragon filled in his eyebrows, and we put Max Wijngaard’s hair into a bun. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun that night. We sat on a bench and looked at the stars before bed.

The next morning, after we packed up and picked up the remainder of the trash, we headed home on the party bus. Most of the kids slept on the bus ride home and woke up for lunch at Dion’s. After we ate we headed to the school where we grabbed our stuff and went our separate ways.

This trip was definitely one for the books. There were so many memories and new friends made, and it was nice to get close to the managers. Overall we think the trip did what it is supposed to do, which is bring us closer and allow us to have fun. We would definitely recommend this trip to all underclassmen.

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