Author: Kaleb Johnson | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23
Estimated reading time: 4 min.
The students headed to the hills of North Carolina for a serene Sabbath as well as an exciting new experience!
Halfway through a semester, what is the best kind of weekend? Maybe some relaxing days in a peaceful place with lots of walking trails and views, along with cozy nights in a cabin. Or maybe you think the best weekend is an action-packed adventure, exploring new territory and making timeless memories. Why not both? The Living Education students did both on their recent Snow Trip weekend!
Inspiring Landscapes, a Cozy Cabin, and Tantalizing Trails
Midday Friday, the caravan of Living Education students and faculty left for Newland, North Carolina, and within a few short hours, they arrived at their caravanserai: a cozy house that I call a cabin because that seems more fitting to me. The cabin has two stories, each with a kitchen and living area. The basement contains six bunk beds in a large room, while the upstairs has three rooms with two bunk beds in each. All in all, the cabin has beds for 24 people. Quite Impressive! But that is not the best part.
The cabin commands an excellent view, overlooking rolling hills right next door. These hills are covered in small, evergreen trees, and with paths that make terraces all along the hillside. It is a fascinating landscape.
The students made excellent use of the paths that crisscrossed the hillside. They walked all over it, taking in the wonderful sites and enjoying the fresh, cool air. It was an amazing escape from the routine days that can begin to blend together.
A Serene Sabbath
As the sun set and the Sabbath settled in, the students piled into the dining room and enjoyed a dinner fit for kings, with a blazing fire and cheery conversation keeping everyone warm, even as the outside grew chilly as the evening wore on. The students then gathered by the fireplace. Mr. McNair gave them a unique challenge: find a Bible story and read it aloud. They needed to bring it alive, capturing the passion and personality of the story. The students took up the challenge. There was some shouting, and I am pretty sure there was some singing at one point. There were funny stories and serious passages. Sometimes the students rolled on the floor in laughter, and other times they felt their hair raise at the power and meaning of a passage.
The morning was calm and relaxed. The breakfast was continental style, allowing everyone to get up at their own time and eat. The students got the chance to lead songs during the services and the sermon and sermonette were given in person by faculty there. Saturday evening featured a fun game involving guessing the meaning of an obscure dictionary word, which is where the word caravanserai that I used at the beginning came from. Also, apparently a lot of people think the word triskaidekaphobia is a fear of Triscuits . . . or maybe that was just us. The evening also consisted of some unique board games and very aggressive foosball playing, of which I was a part. It was a great time for the students to relax together and even try some new games they may have never played before.
The Adventure Part
As promised, there was also adventure. On Sunday morning, the caravan—by which I mean the Dodge Grand Caravan—rode off once more, heading to the neighboring Beech mountain. Traversing the winding mountain roads with tremendous views of the wooded valleys below, the group arrived at Beech Mountain, a town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In this picturesque mountain village is a ski slope and resort, but the Living Ed Students were not there to ski. They were there to go snow tubing.
Most of the students had never been snow tubing before, but that didn’t slow anyone down. The snow tubing frequently consisted of competitions, trying unique body positions in the tube, and inventing new (and a little bit cringey) dances on the magic carpet that carried the students back to the top. After a day and a half of relaxing, all the students were ready to compete with each other and fully experience their day’s adventure.
Why Not Both?
The best weekends are relaxing ones. Or are they the exciting ones? Well, I think they are the ones with a healthy combination of relaxation and adventure. The Living Education students had what I consider the best kind of weekend. Now that everyone is recharged and armed with fantastic new memories, it is time to get back to learning, working, and making the most of every day.
Not too long ago, the Living Education students had another exciting adventure that took them back in times to the 1920s! Well, maybe not literally. Read about the 1920s themed dance the Living Education students hosted: It’s the Roaring ’20s Again!
Kaleb Johnson is a student in the Living Education-Charlotte Program. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the spring of 2022. In addition, Kaleb enjoys writing, video-making, trying new activities (anything and everything), playing chess, and debating (it’s not arguing!) with people. He currently works in the Living Education department producing written content, videos, and helping with a variety of other projects.