With arms linked and faces caked with dirt, 10 Merrowvista Odyssey campers and their two leaders finished the final stretch of their 16-day trip: the walk up Canaan Road into camp.
The entire Merrowvista community lined path and cheered wildly as these campers entered camp and concluded their final Merrowvista trip. When they reached the Farmhouse, the Odyssey campers dropped their well-worn packs and huddled together, chanting “Merrowvista, Merrowvista, shall we tell you how we feel?” over and over until suddenly, they took off in a mad dash through camp to the waterfront. They flung themselves from the dock into Dan Hole Pond, basking in the cool water and the joy of completing their final trip as Merrowvista campers.
Completing Odyssey is no small feat. It’s a 16-day hike through the 100-mile wilderness in Maine, one of the most challenging parts of the Appalachian Trail. The high point of the hike – literally and figuratively – hits at the summit of Mt Katahdin, the highest point in Maine. This is the capstone trip of the Four Trails experience, and one longtime campers eagerly anticipate for years.
From a young age, Merrowvista campers hear the AYF motto again and again: “My own self at my very best all the time.” While their best selves may have looked different each day, each camper carried this motto with them as they accomplished this incredible feat.