The Class of 2018 had a memorable time on the camping trip at the YMCA campgrounds, but one would hardly be able to call this a “camping trip”.
Crafted by Bill Gates’ architect, this place provided the girls with cabins, and the boys with eloquently furnished huts. The freshmen were fed high grade food which was prepared in advance, unlike the food that was consumed by students that have gone on the trip in the past. These students had to make food for themselves, food which was not very well liked by the general population.
This was the first time that the camping trip was implemented in this way, and it should not be considered camping. There were no tents, they didn’t have to make their own food, or deal with a copious number of bugs. The freshmen didn’t partake in other outdoor, rural activities that take participants out of their day to day element. Instead, they had to endure laborious walking, and maybe some mud.
This trip cannot compare to the camping trip of any upperclassman at Rutgers Prep. This year’s sophomore class especially had to deal with tarps to protect them from the endless rain, because not every group was given a tent. One can only assume that the camping trip was agreed to be done in a more comfortable setting for both the incoming upper schoolers as well as their faculty advisors due to the experience that the sophomore class had last year.
Due to the trip being more comfortable than it has been in the past, it is possible that it did not create as much of a bonding experience as it has before. People become friends when they complain about the same thing; they find a common denominator.
When handfuls of incoming freshmen ranging from strangers, to acquaintances, to lifelong friends have to share such a small amount of space, they tend to get to know each other. When I arrived as a new freshman, I thought the trip was a little bit extreme, but as a junior now, I can conclude that it does its job. Still, the less rugged trip puts students, old and new, together for three days in relatively close quarters, and it seems as though the class of 2018 gets along just fine.
Every upperclassman in the upper school would probably have wanted to experience this “new” camping trip instead of the old one. However, actual camping promotes bonds between both returning and new RPS students. These bonds cannot be made without mini disasters surrounding the trip.
Though the class if 2018 did not go on the same camping trip that the older students did, they were able to connect through much more bearable conditions. Much to the content of all Rutgers Prep freshmen to come, this trip will most likely remain in its current state of luxury.