Day in the Life
First Trimester Student
New Student Orientation
Hometown: West Orange, NJ
7.00 am We wake up and it takes a couple of minutes to get up since there are heavy sleepers in our patrol. We then gather in a circle for morning stretch. Sometimes we would do a set series of stretches, and at other times we would go around and everyone would pick a certain stretch that we all would do. After morning stretch we eat breakfast, which mostly consists of dry granola with powdered milk and water.
8.00 am After breakfast we gather once again in a circle for morning gathering. Here we read from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, we check in on how people are doing or are feeling about the day, and then we also find out the plan for the day, which the lead team planned the night before. After all has been said, we close the circle with our hands and say the closing statement “As I Become an Eagle Rock Student I Have the Desire to Succeed and am Prepared to Make Changes in my Life”.
8.45 am After gathering we all pack up our personal belongings including our group gear, and once everyone is done packing we go to sweeping. Sweeping is where everyone lines up side by side and carefully scans the ground we used, to make sure we leave no traces of us being there. Sometimes if we’re in a rush or some people aren’t done packing, we would each randomly scan the area; this we call the Waldo sweep.
9.00 am Once everyone is ready with their packs on, we find the trail we’re hiking on and we start hiking with someone in the front, the point, and someone in the back, the sweep. Depending on the weight of our packs, the type of terrain, and the energy and motivation of the group we hike at a specific efficiency.
1.00 pm After a few hours of hiking we stop at a flat area where we all circle up 20 feet off the trail to eat lunch. Usually we would have a dry lunch that wont take up too much time. Sometimes we would cook, but that can effect the preconceived time of arrival at camp, so we usually eat dry. After lunch, which usually takes a half hour, we gather up to receive our mini solo questions.
1.30 pm After everyone has the questions, we split up each for ourselves quietly, 20 feet apart from each other. In our spots we have time to reflect on the questions or anything else we desire to think about. Usually the mini solo time would be around a half hour, but at other times we would have a designated 1 hour to answer more questions.
2.00 pm After mini solo we all get our packs on again and start hiking once again, headed towards camp. During our hike we would have water breaks, layer breaks, and pack breaks. During water breaks, we each take a rest with our packs on, still standing up, and drink some water to stay hydrated. During layer breaks we take our packs off and either take off layers because of the heat, or put on layers because of the cold. During pack breaks, we go 20 feet off the trail and take around a 5-10 minute break where we each take our packs off to rest.
4.15 pm Our instructor Robyn calls a strong circle to discuss not upholding one of our patrol codes: respect and how we need to better respect the patrol hiking pace.
6:00pm We would all go 20 feet of the trail, take our packs off, and gather up for dinner or evening gathering, depending on what we choose. For evening gathering we would gather up and do a similar ritual as the morning gathering. For dinner we would cook a meal for everyone to be satisfied and full. This all would usually take an hour or a little more. Most of the time we actually only have evening gathering and have dinner when we arrived at camp.
7.00 pm After evening gathering we would get our packs on again, and usually it would get really cold, so we would put on more layers to stay warm. At that time it would be dark already, so we all would get our headlamps out and put them on to be able to see the trail.
7.15 pm After all that, we would be on our way again, hiking to camp. At times it would get really late and people would jump into what we called zombie mode. In this mode their eyes would be half closed, they would hum instead of talk, and would take as many breaks as possible. Basically people would get really tired if it got late. Some people however previewed during the day that they were going to hike late at night, and therefore would brace their mind and body for a long night of hiking.
9.00 pm When we finally arrive at camp, we each would do our expected share of work. This consisted of cooking dinner, setting up 2 tarps and a group tarp, and scouting for and pumping water. After everything is set up and everyone ate a dinner, we would make sure camp was weatherproof by everything being under tarps and we would be off to our sleeping bags to rest for the next day.