10th Grade Reflections on Echo Hill


From December 8th to the 10th, the 10th grade traveled to Echo Hill in Worton, Maryland. Several students volunteered to share their reflections on the trip with the greater community.


Just last week, I was dreading the 10th grade trip to Echo Hill. I thought that the timing of the trip was incredibly inconvenient. It took place in the middle of December, just two weeks before winter break. I got on the bus to Echo Hill prepared to be cold and miserable for three days. However, I left Echo Hill pretty satisfied with the experience. The Echo Hill staff welcomed us with open arms. I enjoyed getting to know the staff members who sat at my table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of my favorite activities were the “adventure” or high ropes courses. Nothing matches the feeling of great pride when you reach the top of a 40-foot tree or climb to the platform of the Alpine tower.

I also realized that a lot of students at other schools are not given the opportunity to experience trips like Echo Hill. Because of this, I decided to humble myself and express gratitude for an experience that many students do not get. Despite the cold, I enjoyed my time at Echo Hill and I am grateful that the 10th grade was given the chance to go. 


Echo Hill was both a fun bonding experience and a tiring one. I found the many group activities fun even when we ran out of things to do during the 3-hour long time. By the end of the trip, my feet were sore and I’d give anything to spend a day in bed doing nothing. However, I won’t deny the many laughs I shared with peers while being at Echo Hill. Some of my favorite memories were belaying someone while they were rock climbing, hovering in the air during their test flight, and winning the Disney round of a singing competition with my group. However, I do think more than 48 hours there would have created a lot more complaining. I don’t regret having gone and I value the Echo Hill staff members who I got to know in those days. 


I am a big fan of summer camp, and so I was expecting to have a wonderful time at the Echo Hill Outdoor School. And yet, I still had much more fun than I was prepared to. Every aspect, from communal eating to hiking in a swamp, being with the 10th grade for the trip was a blast. Despite what Dave Marshall predicted, I was having “Type 1” fun the whole time. I can wholly see why some people didn’t love the trip, though. Part of the fun, for me, was found in going along with “cringey,” over-the-top customs and traditions of the camp, which isn’t for everyone. I am glad to have gone and hope to do something similar with the whole grade again. 


Going into this trip with so many negative feelings, I definitely didn’t expect to have much fun. My expectations proved to be pretty much correct, but with these negatives came a few positives. I didn’t love the activities we did, mainly because they all surrounded outdoor activities, but I learned to stretch my abilities and try new things when I didn’t really have an option. I didn’t expect to bond much, but my activity group and I got along really well and I learned a lot of new things about my classmates of many years. The food was OK, I struggled as a vegetarian finding things I enjoyed. Overall, I think that if I had gone into the trip with a more open mind, I could have allowed myself to have more fun, but because I did not, I struggled to let myself enjoy it. I am, however, grateful that our school is lucky enough to have opportunities like this one because not many schools get to do such things. Although I didn’t have the most positive experience, many others were able to really enjoy themselves to their fullest potentials and I’m so happy for everyone who was able to. It’s a good trip to take, no matter what the outcome is, it’s a key experience to have with your grade. 


I am not a nature person. The sight of bugs generally makes me sick, I don’t like the woods, and I hate not having downtime. That’s why I found it so surprising that I enjoyed this trip. I had, what Dave Marshall describes, “type 2 fun,” meaning I only realized I had fun after we left. At the moment, I was tired, cold, and I didn’t particularly love all of the activities. Looking back at my time at Echo Hill, I don’t remember how cold or tired I was; I remember the fun I had with my friends. The stand-out activities for me were zip lining, the night hike followed by smores and campfire games, and walking along the beach. Additionally, my activity group got along really well and I was able to bond with people I don’t usually spend time with. Overall, this trip will provide the Class of 2024 with lasting memories for years to come. 


Like many members of the 10th grade, I was dreading our Echo Hill trip. The idea of being in the freezing cold for several hours, away from home, and doing activities that might not be fun did not seem appealing. However, to my surprise, the 10th grade Echo Hill trip turned out to be an enjoyable bonding experience. During the challenge activities, like the zipline, we all helped each other step out of our comfort zone. Throughout the educational activities, we got to learn more about the wildlife while actually being in it. Although there were a few trips and falls, my favorite activity was probably the night walk. We walked around the camp, without flashlights, and sang lots of songs. After the walk, we warmed up in a cabin with a fire, just sitting and talking. Then, we sat on the beach for a few minutes in silence, listening to the sound of crashing waves. Although we didn’t do “traditionally fun” activities on our trip, like riding a rollercoaster or watching a movie, we all got to be together.