From Awkward Beginnings to a Wonderful Start by Nedi Ferekides
I woke up on the day of the ropes course with a mixture of emotions, from extreme cautiousness to excitement. The only information I had was that l would be “zip lining and bonding,” so I had no idea what to expect. As I arrived at the meeting area that morning, I looked around the practically empty parking lot. The few cars that were there contained my fellow program members. Each of us sat there in our cars…waiting. My fear of how the day would turn out increased. How were we supposed to bond and complete this huge journey if we all were too nervous to go out and talk to each other? Finally we all managed to venture out and eventually got onto the bus. The ride there was almost silent, except for the back row where I sat. To say we were awkward was an understatement. We basically talked about colleges and school, topics that are safety nets for all high school students. Upon our arrival at Day Springs and hearing the introduction from our wonderful Pathfinder guides, we began to play simple games to break the ice. Even though the activities were simple, it was helpful. We began smiling and becoming comfortable in each others’ presence. My anxiety about the day slowly began to decrease. All of us were beginning to get along. Despite being soaked in rain, we managed to get back inside and partake in several activities that relied on trust and teamwork. Working collaboratively, exchanging ideas, becoming competitive, and creating memories were just a few of the main highlights. Then, came the scary-in a good way- part of the day. We were guided to the zip line by our Pathfinder guides. You could definitely tell that we had become a team, as we all stood cheering and encouraging those that tried to climb. It was amazing how far we had come, from sitting in our cars not interacting, all the way to giving the greatest amount of support we had to offer each other. We all proudly survived the zip line and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. That Friday, which began with slight panic, ended with ear-to-ear smiles, new friends, and experiences to last a lifetime.