Few moments are as wonderful as sitting around a campfire, singing songs, telling stories, and relaxing among faces that have become familiar over the course of Dublin’s three-day camping trips. This year’s trips faced ominous weather forecasts, but even with the rain, all of the trips brought people together—sans cell phones, screens, and any other distractions. From supporting each other with words of encouragement after a grueling ten-mile day to rewriting song lyrics as the group bops through the woods, from volunteering to clean another person’s dish to sharing a campfire meal, from laughing hysterically over something seemingly mundane—like the way that a lunch bag stuck with gooey cheese can finally, after too many attempts with proper woods person kindling, ignite the campfire—to enjoying the way that the clouds move across a lazy lake surface, these trips elevate spirits, illuminate new friendships and relationships, and give us a chance to celebrate what we can, caught up in scheduled and check listed preoccupations, overlook.
This year, the White Mountain trekkers explored the Pemigiwassett Wilderness, enduring a challenging yet rewarding trip; other adventurers enjoyed backpacking through the Adirondacks; Greenway hikers ventured approximately thirty miles, summiting Monadnock upon their return to Dublin; river canoers braved the Saco river, while lake canoers enjoyed Squam and Umbagog Lakes, especially enjoying nighttime views and starry splendor; fishing enthusiasts and newcomers enjoyed their sport in remote New Hampshire ponds and streams; mountain bikers sojourned the famous Kingdom Trails, working through Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom to East Burke; rock climbers braved new heights; the Acadia National Park crew hiked, swam, and splashed through tide pools; and still others explored beautiful State Parks in the glorious Whites.
When Dublin’s crop of adventuring students and faculty members returned from their camping trips, tired, sore, and unshowered, every face was beaming. Everyone shared stories, laughed, and relished in the empowering spirit that comes from stepping outside and away from our everyday—stepping into the woods for a bit.