Environmental Science Club Beach Trip 2017

David Guard, Staff Writer

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The sun had just risen over the mountains and illuminated the valley as we all arrived and stuffed our bags into the bus. Students and chaperones shuffled onto the bus and filed into the seats one by one, all the way to the second to last seat on the bus. This is where I sat, alone and adjacent to the seat Hunter sat in. Soon after everyone was settled, we took off.

 The bus ride was peaceful, conversations between small groups and individuals sleeping were what happened for the first hour. We played a game of Cards Against Humanity, which was entertaining for awhile. Afterwards, I flipped on my headphones and most of the others got out their blankets and slept. The ride was peaceful and we stopped somewhere just passed Roanoke for lunch at a Wendy’s, and most people also went over to Starbucks.

The rest of the ride was smooth, small conversations and some sightseeing along the way to York River State Park. Once we arrived, everyone ran off the bus and sprinted towards the children’s playground and swings.

Yes, that’s right, the first thing a group of high school students did on a field trip to the beach, was run and play on a playground. ”

— David Guard

We swung, climbed around and threw pinecones at one another for about half an hour, then hiked down to a small beach beyond the trees. The sun glared down on us as we walked along the shore, glancing at rocks and dead jellyfish as some others went into the water.

We left the park and went onwards to the cabins, stopping at a small aquarium/library on the way. The aquarium was extremely small, but the library was enormous. The highlight from that part of the trip was elevator vs.stairs races. We soon returned to the bus and made our way to the campsite. Everyone found their cabins. The guys threw their things onto the bunks and all met in a cabin and hung out while the females got all dressed up for dinner at Bubba’s Seaside Seafood Restaurant. We all arrived and sat at a huge table, eventually after a long time of arguing and thinking, we ordered and talked while we awaited our food. Each half of the table mainly spoke with the respective half, but at the end we all talked among each other.

After dinner, we returned to the cabins where we all hung out in what was Vance, Gabe, Brett and Agus’ cabin. We had tried to start a fire outside, but that didn’t work, so we gave up and went inside. We talked, played Cards Against Humanity, and gossiped about everyone. Afterwards, everyone returned to their cabins and it was lights out. The first day was over.

The next day I woke up around eight, Mr. Miller calling into the room and saying we needed to shower and get ready. After getting ready, Hunter and I left our cabin to join the guys in the other. Again, we talked while the girls took their time to get ready. Eventually, we were off for the big aquarium.

We walked through the entirety of the building seeing sharks, jellyfish, turtles, snakes, and all kind of animals. We also watched a movie about the Galapagos Islands, which was cool because it was in 3D and the spiders would jump out of the screen and make everyone scream. On the way to one building, we had to walk outside through a long, wooded area. Most people turned back because they got annoyed that they actually had to walk, but those that went on, like me, were able to see a huge rope course that was set up all throughout the trees. A woman was screaming because she was so scared to be up in the trees. I didn’t understand, she was strapped into harnesses. I guess I just like the thrill too much to think it could possibly be scary. In the next building, we stopped at a food court and ate lunch, and we found out we couldn’t canoe. Now, I don’t know why we couldn’t, and at the time I was kind of concerned. But then we went on a boat ride out into the bay, and we saw up to 8 whales. So I was happy with that. At first it was hard to stay balanced on the boat, especially when inside getting a drink. After a while, it became easier.

After the boat ride, we all regrouped and went back to the cabins for a bit. We later walked down to the beach to watch the sunset, a few people (Brett, Brooke, Hunter) jumped into the freezing cold water. We found what seemed like a dog ball and played football on the beach with it. It’s currently at my house, as memorabilia. We took pictures and also took in the amazing view, the sun retreating beyond the horizon as the moon rose to took it’s place. We walked back to the cabins and then all gathered onto the buses, on our way to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.

We finally found a place to fit the bus, and before we knew it we were off, strolling down the Boardwalk, eleven individuals from a small town in Southwest Virginia. We found a henna place and an arcade that we decided to come back to after we ate. We found some large place, the name I don’t know, but the atmosphere was positive, everyone inside was joking, laughing and smiling; we had to eat here. The menu was diverse, and everyone ordered fancy food not normally eaten. Besides Vance, Gabe and I, we shared some kind of meat pizza named aft

The menu was diverse, and everyone ordered fancy food not normally eaten. Besides Vance, Gabe and I, we shared some kind of meat pizza named after a dinosaur.”

— David Guard

er a dinosaur. A few times while eating, people would randomly start singing happy birthday to people who walked in. Of course we joined in, guessing random names for people and singing along with the entire restaurant.

After eating, and talking for a bit, we started walking back toward the bus. We hadn’t realized how much time had gone by. We had just enough time to stop and get hennas. Vance brandished Al Pacino on his arm, Vivian had a quote and I displayed a tribal design. Everyone got one, and we then stopped by the arcade so Vance and I could play a basketball game. I lost by too much to remember. We then returned to the buses and went back to the cabins for lights out.

The last day had finally arrived. I woke up with only five minutes to spare before we needed to pack and be on the bus, so I skipped my shower and threw on clothes that didn’t match. I helped Hunter and Mr. Miller pack up items from our cabin. We all gathered our things and loaded the bus, and we were on our way home. I was going to miss the annoying bumpy road, and the people who looked at us crazy went into 7-Eleven together. But we had one more stop to make today, at York River State Park. When we arrived, Vance, Gabe and I threw a dog ball around while the others went to the same beach from days ago. A really annoying kid wouldn’t stop pestering us to let him throw, and when we did, he threw it all the way into the parking lot. We had to get out of there.

Everyone went on a small hike to another beach, which was extremely muddy and had a bunch of shells and such on it. On the walk there, we posed for random pictures against trees and looked over cliffs. After the hike, we all jumped back into the bus and made our way home. We stopped for dinner at a fine fast food establishment, and then talked the rest of the ride home. When we arrived, everyone split up and went home, going about their lives.