4:15 AM and my alarm went off to start the day, (you may think I’m crazy but I think waking up early is way worth a new experience gained). At 4:45 Mr. McDonald and 6 of his little “farm animals” ventured out to capture the beauty of the Badlands. We traveled about a half an hour to chase the sunrise and capture the earth’s peaceful beauty. As should be expected with young little animals, Mr. McDonald had to keep our tired loopy selves in check and keep us from climbing the beautiful structures.
We had been itching to go back to the Badlands all week since we drove through them on our way out so the teachers and chaperones decided to surprise us with an eventful day of driving through Custer State Park. As we were driving, all we wanted to do was get out and explore; instead of saying “are we there yet” we were saying “can we hike yet”, so we stopped at a few places along the way before our lunch break to hike. We had lunch at the picnic tables of the visitors’ center and I thought we were having a great day full of adventures but little did I know we were going to be faced with an even bigger one when we finished lunch. When the teachers finally told us we were going to take on the drive up Needles Highway we rushed to the vans only to find a flat tire on one of the vans!
It dampened my mood a little bit but I figured we shouldn’t let it dampen my mood and affect the rest of my day. So we packed the rest of our vans to the brim and ventured out to the infamous Needles Highway and then to a lake to swim and wait for the rest of the chaperones and those who didn’t mind missing a little time swimming in the lake. I’m very thankful for those who said they would stay back at the center and take one for the team because that extra time swimming in the lake is exactly what I needed to clear my mind and relate my week back to home as if I was swimming in the river again.
While on this trip today I learned a lot that I can use in my future. I learned that we really need to take every situation and spin it a positive way. We were taught this by David Swallow earlier in the week and got to take what he said and use it while we were here. I feel this lesson is important because you decide how you feel about a situation you have no control over or something that has already occurred and it is how you respond to that situation and how you let it affect you personally that will really determine how you recover from the damaging situation that makes you who you are.
by Emily Foust