My Trip to Caumsett

by Shakera Hobbs

Young girl hiking in the forest

As I sit here and try to recollect my fifth grade trip to Caumsett State Park, I find it tough to remember every detail. I remember my fifth grade teachers were preparing us for our overnight trip to Caumsett State Park on Long Island, NY. I remember being excited and nervous because, being away from home was scary. I had never been away from home or further away than an overnight stay at a friend’s house. After giving us all the details about the trip, the trip was scheduled for about a week later.

Once we arrived at Caumsett, we were given our room assignments. I was set to room with two girls I did not like. I felt as if the trip was only going to get worse from there; to my surprise, it did not get worse. After unpacking, my class went on a nature hike through the woods. I had never hiked before and it was cool to see the insects and plant life that were surviving in the wilderness. Later that night, we went on another walk and saw deer only about five feet away from us. We also heard owls hooting in the distance and were told about the owls that existed in that specific area. Being so close to these things in nature was exciting and new. My fears about being away from home subsided.

The following day was warmer. I went down to the water’s edge at Caumsett with my class and we were told to collect objects around the beach and see how many things we could identify. One of my friends actually found the shell of a horseshoe crab. Later in the afternoon, we went into the woods and made a shelter out of the fallen timber that was available in the woods. The group I worked with made a fort with the branches and sticks we could find.

Before I knew it, after we took that last nature hunt, our stay at Caumsett was over. I felt like I had accomplished things that were amazing. Nature was new and I felt like it was interesting to learn about the outdoors. I was able to overcome my fear of being away from my home. Nature is something that I would have never thought would interest me as much as it did during that field trip. The biggest impact the trip had on me was, understanding that animals, insects and plants have to survive in nature and live the way we lived those two days at Caumsett. They have to survive any way that they can, just by using what they can find available in nature. I was out of my comfort zone, but in the end, it was all worth it.