Dylan Walmsley ’19
The fourth formers of Woodberry found themselves surrounded by countless trees, rounded mountains, and flowing streams in Covington, Virginia. Without their phones or any connection to the outside world, the fourth formers constructed tighter-knit bonds with their classmates. The class of 2019 enjoyed a four day trip accompanied by unusually beautiful weather. In the past rain and cold temperatures have dampened the spirits of the students on the fourth form expedition, but this year’s class encountered seventy degree weather during the day and cool evenings. The weather was nothing but beautiful, but that was not fourth former Walker Purvis’s most enjoyable aspect of the expedition. Walker expressed, “My favorite part of the trip was getting to bond with my fellow classmates Briggs Standings, Marc Hardman, Henry Clark, Campbell Alvino, Ben Burgess, and Alex Kim.” Before the fourth form expedition, Walker was only acquainted with these students, but Walker felt that he could connect with them on a personal level following the expedition. Forming bonds with friends was a common favorite, for Thomas Rowland and Jameson Rice enjoyed that aspect of the trip as well.
Rocking climbing, zip lining, and caving were a few of the activities that fourth formers participated in during the expedition. Thomas Rowland got the luxury of caving on the expedition, and he said, “I enjoyed when a few of my classmates got lost in the cave and our whole group had to band together and use teamwork to get them out.” Again, bonding and teamwork was a theme on the trip, which Thomas’s words exhibit. My experience on the expedition included a lot of climbing. I crawled up trees, mountains, rock walls, and logs during the days that I was on the expedition. Although I enjoyed climbing, the moments that will stick with me the longest occurred at night. Whether I was singing by the campfire with my friends, watching the sunset atop a cliff, or yelling from inside my tent, the most memorable moments for me happened as the sun fell behind the mountains.
While riding home from the fourth form expedition, I took some time to reflect on the trip I had embarked upon. I came to the conclusion that the expedition is underrated. Many students that underwent the trip in past years gave the trip reviews with which I no longer agree. Walker Purvis also agrees with me, for he said, “The trip was better than I expected because I was with a great group. I enjoyed all of the climbing I participated in, especially propelling from the climbing wall.” I am on Walker’s side. The trip was not only a great way to get to know my classmates due to the lack of technology, but it was also perfect in the sense that I experienced living in the woods, which I had not previously endured. The fourth form expedition was an experience I will never forget, to say the least.
Now that I have finished the class-bonding trip, I have a few words of advice to the classes of the future. My first piece of advice is to dive into the expedition with a great attitude. As you will hear from Mr. LaVoie later on, attitude is the most important part of the trip other than the gear. I took this advice from Mr. LaVoie, and it served me well. I not only enjoyed the expedition, but the trip exceeded my expectations due to the attitude I possessed going into the trip. My second, and last, piece of advice is to respect your peers, leaders, and nature. Throughout the trip, the leaders of the expedition continuously told my group to pick up trash, clear our space, and treat the land we occupied with respect. Listen to the them. If you decide to do the opposite, not only will the leader become aggravated, but the planet we live on will suffer as well. With a great attitude and respect, the fourth form expedition will be a trip to remember for the rest of your life.