by Mary Owens Davidson
The Breaking Barriers special studies group was, as we hoped, full of fun, and believe us, barriers were broken. The first day was focused in the Greenville area for the Escape Rooms and the six mile biking trip, which included, but was not limited to, getting thumb blisters and running headlong into a bridge.
After going home for band-aids and a nap, every student and teacher returned bright and early to the carpool cars. We would drive to and stay for the next four days at a ginormous cabin fit for a king and struggle through the rest of the week’s extraneous physical activity. On Tuesday and Thursday we drove to the Fox Mountain guides and they led us to different parts of Spyglass Rock, where we learned in groups of three how to climb and belay our team members. With climbs around 60 feet high, the views were beautiful; this, however, meant that climbing up a close-to-vertical and nearly seamless mountain face came with terrified yelps and and uneasy muttering from many in our party. On Wednesday, we hiked through Gordge Valley to reach a stunning waterfall. The ground was so slick that many of the students were sliding and falling in the mud, but we were rewarded that night with a trip to the residential pool to play tag and marco polo and to lounge in the hot tubs. On Friday morning we packed up and headed out to Earthshine. Splitting our group into two, the guides put the High-ropes students on harnesses and had them complete challenges on each station; the Low-ropes students did ground level teambuilding tasks.
Overall, the week was a success. Many of us conquered goals and fought inhibitions, making us all stronger (although thoroughly exhausted).