Last week, I went camping at Whitewater State Park as part of the Friends School of Minnesota’s summer camping program “Skipping Stones.”
Friends School students go on a lot of fun trips together. Each fall, 7th and 8th graders spend a week at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. Right before graduating, all the 8th graders go canoe camping for a week with YMCA Camp Menogyn.
Skipping Stones summer trips are open to FSMN middle school students and alumni who just graduated. Whitewater was my second camping trip of the summer. The week before, I had gone to Tettegouche State Park with another group of FSMN 2011-12 students.
On this trip, there were 13 kids and 3 trip leaders: Rebecca, one of the FSMN humanities teachers; Shane, science teacher/middle school teaching assistant; and Julia, an FSMN alumna (Class of 2008).
It was a 5 day/4 night trip with lots of activities. We hiked, walked, swam, toured Mystery Caves, went tubing down the Root River, explored Lanesboro and had ice cream at a local shop, made smores and sat around the campfire while Shane and Annie (another fellow class of 2012 alumni) played the guitar and sang. The best times during the trip for me were those moments just sitting around the campfire and talking, laughing and singing.
I’ve done four Skipping Stones camping trips and every time I got to know people better and bonded even closer with my friends. I really appreciated the opportunity to go on these trips because it’s a wonderful opportunity to not only get to see some beautiful Minnesota State Parks but to also to spend time with great people.
As I have now graduated from Friends School of Minnesota, I will definitely miss these trips to look forward to each summer. Maybe an annual alumni trip is in order… 😉
– by Jamie Farnsworth, FSMN Class of 2012