Manito-Wish – Day One
25 bleary-eyed students and four intrepid staff assembled at the back of ARTech at the unfriendly hour of 5:45PM this morning to drive up to Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. So began the annual 9th grade trip to the Manito-Wish Leadership Camp.
The early start was well worth it. By noon, we were unloading the vans and familiarizing themselves with the camp. The place is quite beautiful and what’s more, we have the place to ourselves. There are separate cabins for boys and girls and large areas where we can gather and eat together.
Breakfast and lunch is prepared by the students and eaten in the cabin kitchen areas. Dinner awaits us in the Nash Lodge later, prepared by the on-site cook.
Activities began with the group gathering to meet the Manito-Wish staff at the fire ring. By tradition, a fire was started with the use of a friction-based bow drill (no matches or lighters involved!) and natural materials. One instructor started us out challenging us to consider the quote: “If you think you can do a thing or think you can‘t do a thing , you’re right” There was a brief debate about who actually said this before Andrew stepped in with the confident assertion that the sayingoriginated with Henry Ford. He was right. Again, by Manito-Wish tradition, the fire will be keep burning by the students for the duration of our visit.
This was followed by a round of warm-up games. As I write, the students are in three separate groups. Craig Sweet, one of our chaperones, former ARTech teacherand long-time Manito-Wish staff member describes this time as “starting the group process of breaking down barriers and challenging accepted group norms as well as a time to build awareness of those around you.”
It’s going to be fun…