Stout Fire Pit: Student Reflection 4

“I started by setting up the tents.  It was getting dark and none of the participants had arrived.  I find myself a bit overwhelmed and maybe even frustrated with the fact that things were not going as planned.  I don’t know that I expected, but I thought there might have been more involvement with the whole process of the evening.  I guess this was part of the planning and my job in coordinating the project.  I through the sleeping bags and pads into the tents and crawled into one to read for a while as I waited for the group to arrive.  I settled down and I could observe my environment.  This location seemed to be redefined when it became not just a place to hang out, but a place to sleep.  I was still on campus.  I was in a tent.  Was I camping?  I began to question my place and how we define the activities we participant in regards to that place.  Every other time I had been to the stout fire pit, it had been for an evening to hang out with friends.  Now it had become an environment by which I would sleep.  The other students arrived around 10pm and we started a fire.  We made s’mores, drank apple cider, and talked for a while.  This was familiar.  I hoped that everyone felt relaxed and comfortable as they experienced this environment again or for the first time.  As people started to go to bed, I was excited to have the chance to sleep outside.  It was different.  I hadn’t spent the night outside with having to get up the next morning for classes and other obligation. This wasn’t normal, but when I woke up in the morning it was refreshing.  Camping for me has always been when I am in a clear and calming head space. These same feeling accumulated with this experience as I could relax into the evening and gain from the experience that I could even if it was not what I expected.”

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