Thats right, I am told there is only four weeks remaining of my undergraduate degree at Messiah College. I said I have been told this because I am not looking forward to my time here ending, so I have definitely not been counting down the days. I am truely going to miss Messiah for some solid reasons, however it will ease my desire knowing the academic work would continue if I stayed here. The academic workload this semester had been ourageous. For you other soon to be college seniors out there reading this, dont worry, it is not normally like this. Most of my other friend have very easy semesters which make life to be very easy going and enjoyable. The two classes that are taking of a ton of time are Senior Seminar and Trip Implementation and Evaluation. Trip class has a lot of group work that takes hours on end. Senior Seminar has been requiring a ton of reading, long journals, and a large portfolio paper. I am working to get on top of things rather than falling behind like right after the spring break week.
The last time I posted was before Messiah’s Spring Break. I was one out of three leaders on a wilderness spring break trip that I led down to Georgia that consisted of backpacking and caving. I am not going to go into too much detail about the trip due to a time constraint, however I will explain to most interesting parts. We had 12 people in our group including the three leaders. We caved five different times in a total of four caves. There were two caves with miles and miles of passageway that we were no where near finishing exploring. Anderson Spring Cave was the most decorated cave with mind blowing pristine formations compared to any cave in PA that I know of. It was a wet cave, so we hard to dress with lots of clothing due to the need to crawl through water on our hands and knees. Another cave was called Ellison Cave that we went in on two different entrances two different times. This cave is famous to most cavers because of its vertical caving rappelling and ascending. It has a beautiful 585 foot straight drop on one side, then a 424 foot pit on the other end of the cave over 2 miles away. One the last day we rappelled a 60 foot stair step pit with waterfall right next to us which was really neat. It really took a long time with all 12 people, however everyone was safe and we ran into no problems. We entered Petty Johns cave that was very well used, however was quite large in size compared to anything in PA. It was very amazing, however we were able to finally find our way around inside of it. We entered Atwood point talus cave which was a small cave formed by rocks shifting, not water eroding the rock like all the other caves we entered.
The backpacking went really well, however our packs were very heavy due to our muddy/wet cover alls and caving shoes. We would normally wake around 9am and go to bed about midnight. The campsites we stayed at were generally nice, however we did camp next to a dirt road for two nights which was kind of annoying for some participants. We past two great views at the top of the mountain on the way which provided for a relaxing break from the heavy backpacks. Spiritually we concentrated on asking for help as men, and sharing our thoughts as men. Since it was an all male trip, it provided us the appropriate environment to talk about all male issues. At one point we had to take one of our leaders to the hospital due to a chronic sickness he quickly fell into one evening, but he was luckily back in the field the next evening.
The next weekend I went down to Radford, Virginia for a conference required for my senior seminar class put on by the Association for Experimental Education. At the conference we were able to go to sessions where they talked about different types of leadership, networking in the field, and activities to use in the wilderness. The highlights of the weekend were learning how to stand up paddle board and river surfing with them. I also went caving once with an organized group and we went again to the same cave the next evening with just a couple students from Messiah and got to see a lot more of the cave.
The weekend after that, it was time to race! It was the third time the Outdoors Club went down to the Tuckaseegee River for the American Canoe Association Collegiate National canoe and kayak race. We brought ten students from Messiah all the way down to North Carolina. At the race your were allowed to race twice in any catagory. Either tandem canoe, solo canoe, and solo kayak. I raced solo canoe and tandem canoe on saturday and got 5th out of 30 on the tandem canoe race. On Saturday after the race, the canoers went to an after race party at the Nantahala Outdoors Centerwhich was right on the river that has a man made surf wave that is world class. There was also a class 3/4 wave called the Nantahala falls that some of us ran multiple times for fun. After the paddle that ended after sun down, we had lots of pizza and got to watch a sweet paddle film festival of awesome paddle videos. On Sunday it was time for the team relay, Messiah finished 3rd out of nine. There were four legs, two tandem canoe, and two kayak sections. Overall Messiah won the award for 3rd place, however we really got fourth due to a later discovered scoring error. The race and camping was a good time, it was too bad for the poor and slow scoring calculations. Overall, the Outdoors Club subsidized the cost to only 20 dollars a person even though it would normally cost over 50 dollars a person. Thats all I have at this point, next I plan to write about my four years in review at Messiah.
aca, spring break, aee,