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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

A semester in the wilderness

Senior spends semester at camp in Maine
Emmet Miles

Journeying 16 hours away from familiarity and comfort of the place he called home for 17 years, senior Stuart Morton travels 1,115.1 miles to embark on the adventure that will be the next five months of his life.

Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki is an environmental education organization based in Wiscasset. Morton attended Chewonki during his junior year of high school in hopes of gaining new experiences and learning new things with hands-on activities.

An average day at MCS starts with morning meetings and chores, then the students attend their classes. Unlike class at a normal high school, Chewonki took their learning in a different direction.

“We had a 48-hour solo where you went alone in the woods for 48 hours… It was a really eye-opening experience and a good time for self-reflecting,” Morton said.

Morton faced many physical challenges, during that adventure, but emotional challenges took the biggest toll on him. Being so far from home wasn’t something that would typically affect Morton, but when the time came for his 17th birthday, it hit him hard being so far away from family and friends.

“My 17th birthday was one of the hardest things I went through. It was four days into the semester, I didn’t know anybody, it was my first birthday away from my parents and it was just very sad because I didn’t get wished happy birthday by anyone but my cabin because I didn’t really know anyone,” Morton said. “It kinda made me think a lot about being an adult and how much I really appreciate my parents, it was just very eye-opening. Like wow, I’m not gonna be young forever.”

These challenges did not affect the overall experience for Morton. He still viewed his time in Maine as a life-changing experience and a big factor in who he is today.

“While being there, I became very introspective and I was able to gather a deeper understanding of who I am as a person,” Morton said. “In this time in our life I think it is very crucial for you to start understanding that, especially when we are a couple of months away from graduating high school so for that, I am very grateful for the time I spent there.”

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