Raging Rafting Trip Discovers Beauty of Maine Outdoors

Last weekend was a great time for a group of January students starved for an experience in the beautiful New England outdoors to head to beautiful Maine for a whitewater rafting adventure. Thirty-six people ventured to Maine for camping, rafting, and plenty of partying. It was a wonderful time to “rough it” in the outdoors and still enjoy the luxurious amenities of the New England Outdoor Center.

We arrived at the campsite early Friday night just in time for Chris and Lori Schell, Jessica Gelman and Trevor McCaw to take a dip in the hot tub before pigging out on a big, heavy lasagna dinner. It was a beautiful night and there was an early and full moon this night (thanks Jess!). After dinner, we started a roaring campfire. As we all huddled around the warmth and light of the blaze, we played a game called “Mafia” until well into the night.

This was the brainchild of Jess and as such she got to play God-a job that I think she enjoyed a lot! For some of us that had been drinking too much, this game was a little too reminiscent of an HBS exercise and required too much thinking and strategery.

For others, however, this was a great opportunity to have a lot of fun, make a lot of noise, and make fun of Paul Carter and his flawed Australian reasoning. Fortunately, in the end, Paul emerged victorious and this was in no small part due to the help of Wendy Carter who must have felt pity for him. After this, we gorged on Smores (chocolate and marshmallow treat) thanks to the meticulous preparation of Kerry Partin, and then we crashed.

Early the next morning, we had a big breakfast and jumped on a bus to the Kennebec River. The water release on the river that day was 50% more than normal-so the river was raging. We loaded into four rafts and were on our way. Within minutes we were hitting rapids like Big Mama, Whitewasher, Big Kahuna, and the legendary Magic Falls!

Skill, technique and raw talent were in abundance as we crashed fearlessly through the towering waves, cold water and harsh elements of the Kennebec River. Unfortunately, this skill, technique, and raw talent did not show up in the pictures or film of ourselves that we watched later that day. I believe the cameraman just missed it.

At any rate, we swam and splashed in the lower half of the river and Scott and Beth Johnson, Holger and Mary Carmen Laubenthal, and others even paddled in a kayak.
Later in the afternoon, we went back to the campsite, had a big outside barbeque lunch, and several people took naps, while others played games in and around Lake Wyman. Most importantly, a hotly contested game of horseshoes broke out and Team Terry Wolfram and Brendan Scollans eventually upset undisputed champ-Team Bill Berrien.

For the other 90% of the Januarys that missed this trip, try to go on the Fall trip with The Outdoors Club, I highly recommend this experience and this is a great way to get to know other people and see the outdoors.