This winter break, I escaped winter’s icy graspon North Carolina by venturing to the Everglades with Davidson Outdoors for the first nine days of January—one of Davidson Outdoors’ more legendary trips. Nine students drove to Everglades City to construct a catamaran structure out of bamboo and two 12-foot canoes. We set sail for Pavilion Key (above) on our first day, reaching a sandy beach just at sunset. The crew spent the next day in grand fashion, exploring the mangroves and studying how the Everglades landscape changes drastically with the tides—two students were caught off guard when their path back to camp was suddenly under water! Though we were able to catch wind in our sail most days, we spent a particularly dramatic afternoon paddling against the tide for two hours to travel a single mile. On Davidson Outdoors trips, we work toward a common goal and face shared adversity—this brings us together. I can attest: over the course of the week, I made fast friends with many students whom I had yet to encounter on campus. Each evening was celebrated with delicious food enjoyed under an awe-inspiring blanket of stars. Though we saw no alligators, there were many dolphin, scorpion, and horseshoe crab sightings. Our Everglades souvenirs include tans, mosquito bites, and indelible memories.
—Marybeth Campeau ’11
Photo Credit: Marybeth Campeau ’11