“The Most Fun Trip of High School…”

Senior Class Rafts, Ziplines, Dines and Plays to Win!


Photograph by Courtesy D Gallup

Seniors rafting was part of the fun!

Meeting at 5:00 a.m on a Sunday morning to drive to the airport and get on a plane, to then get on a three hour bus ride might not sound like the most auspicious beginning to the most fun trip of one’s high school career. But that was how our Class of 2019 Senior Trip – the best school trip I’ve been on so far- started.

Yes, that’s right. After assembling at 5:00 at school, we got on our respective buses and headed to Fort Lauderdale airport. We took an hour and a half flight to Atlanta, where we split into three buses. We stopped halfway through the trip for lunch and to pick up some snacks for the road and our rooms. Then after another hour and a half we arrived at Fontana Village, a beautiful large hotel that spans seemingly for miles and miles. Once we arrived we split up in our various rooms where we got to relax for quite a while before our first fun activity.

We all assembled for games in the Ball Field and Recreation room. The first a game of rock paper & of course scissors, but with a little twist. Everyone played the famous game with their partner next to them but when you lost you had to root on the victor and so and so forth until half the grade was supporting one player and the other supporting another. Then they had us line up by our birthdays but without using any words or sound. T’was crazy. After we had somewhat successfully accomplished this task we went out to the courtyard where we split up into groups of ten and competed in a frozen shirt competition. The objective to break an ice solid shirt and put it on one of the brave member’s torso. I was the one to put my life on the line for the challenge and I was cold and bitter that I got third place in the end.

After my disappointing performance, I froze my way over to the dining room. For dinner, tacos and nachos. Couldn’t ask for much better. The highlight of the day came after this delicious dinner: BINGO! Ms. Kelly hosted a few rounds. She asked me to come up and handle the last few. That’s when things really got intense. Everyone was shouting out the numbers they so desperately needed. In the end, we had many different victors and some downcast faces, but everyone still had a good time.

The next morning, it was bright and early for white water rafting! After a thirty minute bus ride we all eagerly got off, put on our life vests and boarded rafts of eight with capable tour guides. We got some beautiful views of trees. We had some stimulating conversations, and we overcame many fears of dangerous, white water rapids. The post-rafting scrumptious meals that we had ordered months in advance were delicious. The turkey sandwich was phenomenal! There was even a cookie inside!

Back at the Fontana village, we had free time until dinner where many of us played ping pong, swam, played different sports or some even worked on their assignments due Friday (the nerds). Dinner that night was chicken and pasta. Another delicious meal. After that we played beach volleyball and some played basketball. I personally felt I had a calling for volleyball and wonder why we don’t have a boys volleyball team. (Hmmm a story for our Sports editor? )

At sunset, it was back to our dining room for Karaoke and games. From Apples to Apples to Monopoly: Game of Thrones edition, everyone in the grade competed vigorously while being serenaded by the beautiful voices many of whom we hadn’t heard before (Matthew Musarra and Marlon Robbins did a great rendition of Piano Man). There was also pizza and sundae bar which was the literal cherry on top.

The next day we split up: half of us went to ziplining in the morning, half went in the afternoon.

Ready for ziplining!

Many of us were initially afraid of the heights, but once we were soaring in the air above beautiful scenery those fears subsided. What we should’ve been afraid was how long it would take us to depart after there was some confusion with the tour guides at the ziplining company and it took us nearly an hour more then we planned. Hungry and ready to hit the road, we departed the ziplining place and headed back to Fontana. When we arrive our hunger was quenched by amazing cheeseburgers and hot dogs. After that we had more free time where we did even more of the aforementioned activities. Then after the other group came back from their ziplining adventure we had our last supper. We had beef brisket and potatoes and all that a hungry group of teens could ask for. Then after some apprehension we had a fascinating talk by our new incredibly qualified college counselor Mr. Spatig who gave us some valuable advice that helped quash some of our fears about college.

We finished the night around a bonfire. Isadora Figueroa gave a rousing speech thanking all those counselors who came and helped make this trip a reality as well as thanking of all of us for being such good participants. We ate s’mores, we laughed, we took photos for Instagram, but overall we just became closer as a class. No one wanted to go to sleep that night for we knew the next day we would depart back to Miami and we had all grown quite fond of Fontana.