I couldn’t believe the day had finally come. My friends and I had been talking about it for what seemed like months. Every year our class 5B takes a trip to the Sahara Campgrounds. As soon as you see the entrance sign, a sudden tingling feeling bubbles through your body knowing a few days of relaxing from school work is about to start. On a sunny day in July of 2009, our class got into the bus and headed to our campground.
I sat comfortably in between my best friends Rona and Tamara, while Nadia and Karin sat at the very back of the bus and behind them sat my younger cousins Sarah and Salam. It was a little tight and looked like everyone was sitting on top of each other. After what seemed like forever, we got out and were greeted by the camp consular for instructions on how to setup our tents and how to protect ourselves from wild animals such as bears.
Once we finished putting up our tents, some of the girls started playing hide and seek while the others sat around the camp fire sharing stories and laughing.
After starting our first campfire, I could feel the heat touching my face and the campfire smoke almost perfumed my clothes. We would cook hot dogs hamburgers, fish, corn on a cob, and everyone favorite smores. The students all took turns telling a scary story. Rona and Karin where screaming so loud it could have been heard from miles away.
But, Nadia, Tamara and I, just sat quietly waiting for the next story as we knew most of the kids where making them up. Evening came and everyone was getting ready for bed.
Just few minutes after we turned off the lanterns, we heard loud shouting and screaming coming from outside our tent. I peeked out of and saw a large black bear. All the students sat quietly in their tents watching the bear open the garbage dumpster and dump it out. Then, the large bear turned to our food containers and tried to open by lifting them over his head then throwing them on the ground causing them to release. Once the bear got all he needed he left without hurting anyone, but destroying most of our food for the week.
At the end of the week we waved good-bye to the campgrounds. Keeping the memories of the dazzling lake, great stories by the fire, the sweet smells of campfire food and most important the unwelcomed visitor the large black bear. I realized that knowing how to protect ourselves in the case of a wild animal attack is valuable knowledge that will never be forgetting. Having a ripping feeling of sadness, I’d leave with a smile on my face, knowing I’d be back next year.