• Middle School
Reflections from the River - Blair Lachance

by Blair Lachance, 8th Grade Advisor, Spanish Teacher

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To date, I have gone on nine Outdoor Education trips: four to Moab, three to the Delaware River Gap, one to Litchfield, and one to New York. During the many nights I’ve spent under the stars, the Delaware River Gap has always been the trip that has required the “most” of me: the most physical effort, the most minimal packing, the most mental energy. This year, however, I found a new appreciation for this four-day canoeing trip.

The Delaware River Gap is one of the largest, free-flowing rivers in the contiguous 48 states. Nestled between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it is part of the National Park Foundation. The 8th Grade fall outdoor education trip to this waterway allows students the opportunity to canoe 30 miles down the river. When I boarded the bus with the 8th Graders, I turned to Mrs. Coyne and said, “No news is good news!” I was excited to disconnect and fully enjoy every minute on the water.

If I close my eyes hard enough, I take myself back to that river. I hear the sound of my paddle pushing through the water, a fine trickle of drops grace the surface as I move it back into position. Eagles soar above me, and if I squint my eyes ahead, I spot a few white egrets. If I’m really lucky, and sitting quietly, I can see the deer walking through the morning fog before we set our canoes out into the water.

 

While canoeing, one of the guides from The Mountain Workshop, said to me, “I can’t believe I get to be out here and do this. It’s going to be a great life.” I turned back to him, a smile on my face, and said, “It is.” In a society moving from point A to point B faster than one can blink, I admit I did take out my phone to snap a few pictures of the kids But when asked to take a picture of the deer that morning, I declined. I just wanted to remember the moment. Without the technology. Because sometimes the memory is more beautiful than any photo.