It was a cold but clear day with a bit of snow falling when twenty Upper Kennebec Valley High School students and seven chaperones boarded a bus that would bring them on a day of adventure to Pleasant Pond Mountain, which is a short hike on the Appalachian Trail located in The Forks, Maine. Thirteen high school students and seven junior high students were ready to go. Everyone carried a backpack with a breakfast and lunch prepared by our wonderful kitchen staff, wearing warm clothes, and off they went.
They arrived at the foot of the mountain on the Appalachian Trail at about 9 am, and after some safety warnings and a cut off time to make it to the top, they set off. Students were instructed to stay with a group or partner, and everyone was wearing orange. Starting off with a reasonably easy climb, the path became steeper and steeper until both hands were needed to climb. Two nimble students took the lead with a teacher following them who made it to the top around 10 am, where they found it was cold and windy and icy.
Students ate their lunch in between the trees a bit lower than the top because it was so cold. After 45 minutes of waiting for more climbers, they decided to go back down. Because of the rain from the previous day, that was not an easy task, for it was quite slippery! As they continued our descent, they met more people climbing to the summit and taking pictures on their way up.
Fortunately, everyone made it down safely. Some of the students even had some time left before the bus came to check out Pleasant Pond. At about 12:30 pm, everyone made it down, with some making a little detour. With no incidents and the students actively engaged, there were lots of smiles and personal challenges overcome as they boarded the warm bus.
It was a great and satisfying day!
This story was submitted by MSAD 13 Moscow and Bingham as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email firstname.lastname@example.org.