GCD Reflection- Wilderness Engagement

Throughout 9th grade’s Field Studies Expedition in the October of 2017, I developed and nurtured my collaboration skills as well as my outdoor skills in terms of dealing with nature and the environment as a whole. During the 120 hours in Niigata, I experienced sleeping in tents, hiking for long hours, and team-bonding exercises. Although there were times that made me tired and hungry, the breathtaking views made up for it.

First and foremost, I developed my skill of working together with others in a group. Towards the start of the trip, I was still unfamiliar with some of the members of my group, and thus it was hard to interact with them. However, as soon as our group was in the mountains, we relied on and helped another to achieve our goal: arriving at the campsites. Despite the fact that on occasions our group argued and had conflicts in opinions, we were able to come together and develop a type of trust and respect that brought us together as more than just a hiking group.

Another aspect that the trip helped me to enrich was my outdoor skills. For instance, during the hiking activities, my group and I used gadgets and instruments that we do not frequently use, such as compasses, maps, and large backpacks. Typically, I do not use or even see these materials in my daily life, thus it allowed me a chance to practice getting good at using them. At the start of the trip, it took time for me to navigate the way, but at the end of the five days, I was able to smoothly figure out which way we were heading, how steep the trail would be, and even how long it might take to get to our destination.

Again, there were some challenges that I faced throughout this trip. For example, sometimes our group lacked in energy and motivation which caused us to become silent and interact less with each other. Being the positive person I am (or at least I hope so), I tried my best at times like these to cheer people up by telling jokes or initiating conversations- which I think boosted our energy levels up.

Overall, it was a fun experience, and I hope that I can build more experiences like this one.