We welcomed 33 bright-eyed young men and women to the Wilderness Trips program yesterday! They brought a whoosh of good energy and many different skills and perspectives, and came from communities in and around Boston and New York City, Maine, Texas, and California, as well as Spain, Russia, and France. They met their leaders and fellow trippers, understanding that they’re going to know these people REALLY well by the end of their adventure. Former campers, trippers, and leaders caught up while new ones soaked in new faces and places. Lots of hello’s and hugs all around. A busy, wonderful day. Our trip leaders are as excited as the students. These are people who love being in the wild; they wait for this moment with huge anticipation. And they can’t wait to share their excited with their trippers. Maine Appalachian Trail Backpack, Umbagog Whitewater Kayak, and North Woods Canoe Expedition pulled out from Chewonki this morning in a cavalcade of vans and trailers towing canoes, kayaks, and camping equipment. Meanwhile, the Mariners Sailing Expedition set off from the waterfront for the sea. First day: lots of emotions, quick learning, daring to share yourself with new people in newd experiences—and a time for everyone who’s part of Boys Camp, Wilderness Trips, and Adventures for Girls to gather on Chewonki Neck for one night as one family. At campfire, newbies learned the camp cheer from those who already know it well. We are Chewonki!