My name is Victor Gollub. I am in 11th grade in Silver Spring, Maryland, and a member of SCA DC. Last weekend, I went on my first backpacking trip -- in Shenandoah National Park. When we finally got there, I could hardly believe I was in real life. The views were stunning and seemed to go on forever. At times, I found myself holding my breath.
At the trail entrance, we quickly distributed tents and equipment that we needed for the night, took a few pictures, and started hiking. It took us a little while to get used to walking with a big packs on our backs -- a few people stumbled -- but they got right back up and kept going. We stopped a few times to rest, and Ted, our crew leader, pointed out some things about the trail that would be relevant to the national trail crew assignments some of us are doing this summer. [I will be on an SCA high school crew in Denali National Park. That’s in Alaska!]
When we got to a place to camp a few hours later, the crew leaders took charge and began assigning jobs. Some us set up tents and some learned how to use the water filter. We had already learned the dangers of drinking water without boiling it thoroughly.
When night came some people began wondering if we were going to be attacked by a bear, but the crew leaders promised they would fight the bears off. Great!
Dinner was mainly vegetables and rice. And everyone got enough. After dinner, we all cleaned our dishes and stashed them in a tree and put our food up high in another tree far away from camp.
It was an adventure in the complete darkness!
Everybody went to their tents and slept for the night. The next morning, we had breakfast, loaded up our backpacks, and went back on the trail to hike the last half, which was completely up hill! It was tough and tiring work and I think it gave everyone a fair evaluation of what kind of shape they are in and where they need to be for their national crew. I think that if I keep exercising, I will be ready for Alaska.
We all learned a lot and got to know each other better. I had a very good time in Shenandoah National Park and I’m pretty sure everyone else did too.
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