By Alumna Dakota Z., Intercept Program
Awakening quickly to the sound of watch alarms, you eventually sit up in your sleeping bag mentally preparing yourself for the last full day. Luckily, your group has been staying in a little cabin, also known as “Hatbill,” so you do not need to worry about packing away your tent or loading any boats.
You cannot believe that today is the day you reunite with your family after having no contact with them for almost a full month. You are a bit nervous to see your family, but cannot wait to share everything you’ve learned with them.
Once everyone is up and ready to go, you all anxiously pile into the group van and set off to see your family. The van ride is bittersweet. Your group reflects on the past several days, sharing a handful of memories and what you personally gained from the experience. Suddenly a wave of silence spreads throughout the van. You have arrived just outside of the building filled with your family.
The door to the building opens to a room full of contagious smiling faces. Your family is so happy to see you and cannot explain how much they’ve missed you.
Your day consists of a presentation prepared by your group, explaining every little detail to your families about the past several days you spent along the river. You then move into a delicious lunch, giving you time to catch up with your family and share stories from course. Following lunch, each student has their own parent conference with their designated instructor and family. This time is meant for you and your family to discuss what each has learned over the span of 28 days, while making plans for the future at home. Once the last bit of conferences come to an end, your group is called to the van to head back for your last night together.
Arriving back at “Hatbill,” you sit in a circle eagerly awaiting a special ceremony your instructors have prepared for you. Once the ceremony ends, you run through the plan for the next day one last time. You are a bit nervous for the final challenge in the morning, a five mile run, but you are excited to get back into the swing of things at home. A few small conversations are had before you find yourself drifting away into dreamland on the last night on your expedition…..