“Give me four forward,” PC students heard as they headed toward the largest obstacle of the whitewater rafting course on the Nantahala River: the falls.
They listened carefully to their guides as they navigated an intricate part of the course, then leaned on each other’s rhythm to paddle in sync. The students were divided between three boats and preparing for the big drop.
The water became louder as they approached a sign that signaled a bump ahead.
Listed as a class three, the drop was among the most anticipated parts of their adventure. In a matter of seconds, they were in the middle of the falls headed to the bottom.
Ten new PC students began the school year with the team-building, whitewater rafting experience — and more — as part of the annual Blue Hose Outdoor Orientation Trip (BOOT). The trip took place Aug. 22-24 in Montreat, N.C.
BOOT leaders Daniel Adams, director of Student Involvement, and Bob Bryant, Kristen Herrington Professor of Bible, say they enjoy the trip because students connect and build relationships before the school year begins.
“The orientation trip really embodies everything about PC,” Bryant said. “On a big scale, it’s about appreciating the outdoors and caring for the world we live in. It’s also about relationships, not only with the world we live in but with other people.”
The activities began early Thursday morning when the group loaded up in a van at Springs Student Center. They were settled into their cabin by that afternoon and embarked on their first hike at Lookout Trail. In the evening, they had dinner and a stroll around Montreat. The participants later bonded over conversation and ice-breaker games.
By the next morning, they packed up for the rafting center, where they took on the above course and jumped in the chilly water from a sandy beach. The final day included a 45-minute hike up Mount Pisgah.
Students Elizabeth Dickenson and Sean Fowler took part in the trip for the outdoor adventures and to meet new people. Fowler said when he came to PC, he didn’t know anyone.
“I knew my roommate, but I hung out with him like twice,” he said, “but now, I know people. I know how they are. It’s nice. I feel comfortable now going into PC.”
Dickenson said her nerves about the trip and college had gone away. She got to see the mountains — something she’s always wanted to do since moving to South Carolina from New York — and she also grew comfortable talking to new people.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know people and just being able to meet some new people with different views, and some of them, the same,” she said. “It’s just cool to see what some of the people at PC are going to be like. There are some pretty cool people.”
When the trip ended, they made it back to campus for dinner at the President’s House to meet even more Blue Hose and enjoy Welcome Week.
Digital Marketing Coordinator Christina Miller ’17, who also helped lead the trip, contributed to this story.