Eighth-grade trip to Winona: an adventure to remember

In the Middle

At the beginning of every school year the eighth grade students all load into a bus and drive to Camp Winona in Maine, ready for class bonding and some fun in the sun.

The eighth grade Winona trip has been going on for many years at KO. The trip is led by Form 2 Dean and science teacher Clay Miles.

Mr. Miles has been teaching at KO for 29 years, and has been going to Camp Winona for 34 years where he was both a camper and is still a counselor. The trip started as an orientation trip for the grade so that everyone has a chance to get to know one another outside of the classroom. “The trip gets everyone out of their comfort zone,” Mr. Miles said.

He said he thinks that it is important that everyone tries something new that they are not experts at, like camping or canoeing.

This trip entails a five hour bus drive to Bridgton, Maine where Camp Winona is located on Lake Winona. Here is where the students make lifelong memories with their classmates to begin their final middle school year. “My friends and I had a good time staying up late to talk and play cards,” eighth-grader Pierce Flynn said.

The trip lasts three days, two of which are spent a on a camping trip. The grade is split into a few groups consisting of around 10 students each. To get to their campsite each student must canoe or kayak on Lake Winona with their belongings until the group reaches their designated area for the night.  

English teacher and advisor Beth Repp has gone on the trip three times. She said that the trip teaches the students how to rough it, by which Mrs. Repp means the camping part of the trip. The students stay in tents, cook dinner and breakfast by the fire and enjoy other fun activities.

Some groups even took the boats out at night. ¨It was amazing to be out on the water, and see the clear sky,”  eighth- grader Elliot Shani said.

Even some of the seniors still remember their good times at camp Winona,

Some students loved the outdoors, while others hated it. ¨There were so many bugs,” senior Tally Halcombe said.  

Others enjoyed sleeping outside overnight. ¨ Camping overnight was a interesting experience,¨ senior Michael Autorino said.

However, most students agreed that overall the trip was  good fun and a great way to make friends.

The trip provides a great opportunity for new eighth-graders to get to know their classmates. “The trip helped me get a foot in the door and develop some relationships that made the first day easier,” eighth-grader Maggie Dwyer said.

No doubt, this trip will continue to engage the eighth grade students for years and help foster new friendships.