Snow Hike to Hammocking
Sam, CS20 (Spring 2020), St. Croix Falls, WI

During the first week of school, a group of us decided to go snowshoeing. Sunset Point was our destination, and our mission was to set up our hammocks. Disappointingly, when we got to the Lowenstine Recreation Center (LRC), the snowshoe room was locked, and since it was the first week of school, we had completely forgotten that there was no LRC staff on duty at that time to check out gear. We were undeterred, though, and decided to go anyway. We walked along the snowshoe trail to Sunset Point. We were quite determined to set up our hammocks! We had just snowshoed this trail during our Outdoor Skills class, so it was familiar, and we didn’t find it to be too long of a hike.

As soon as we got there, we picked the best place to put up our hammocks. In total, there were five hammocks to put up. We were cautious and made sure that they were secure and that we wouldn’t fall out. After getting the hammocks set up, we talked, got to know each other better, and listened to music for about an hour. Once we all got cold, we decided it was time to hike back to the inner circle of campus. This little adventure to Sunset Point was enjoyable for me because it was a new way to hang out with friends and bond, and it was different from the types of after school activities I am used to. And it was the first time I had ever used my hammock!

Venturing out to Sunset Point with my peers made me reflect: It’s incredible how Conserve School is different from “normal school!” One difference is being able to interact with peers that I share interests with. Another significant difference is the fact that everyone truly wants to be here! At this point in the semester, I had only been at Conserve School for about seven days, and I noticed that I was beginning to think, grow, and process information differently. There is always more than one side to an issue and the reason I felt my thinking shifting is that the educators here take the time to examine and show us not just one side of a subject or an issue, but they consciously attempt to show all sides of things.

When I came to Conserve School, I anticipated that I might clash with people who didn’t agree with me, but that wasn’t the case. Everyone I have met listens and is trying to learn about different views and perspectives. Admittedly, I can be aggressive when it comes to what I believe. But I am learning that one’s life experiences often shape opinions and views. I have realized that I might not fully understand another person’s background, and they might not understand mine either and that we can learn from each other. I am excited to see how the semester goes and see what I learn and in what new ways I grow, even if it’s challenging.