Souhegan Students Travel to Joshua Tree National Park


Kate Eastland, Writer

Wintercession is something unique to Souhegan, and it one of the things that makes the school great. Besides activities like the Senior Hike, this week is something all students look forward to. The Sophomores can go to places like Quebec and D.C., or they can stay in New Hampshire and do things such as a week of yoga or cooking lessons. The farthest destination, however, is Joshua Tree, California, located in the Mojave desert just outside the 29 Palms Marine Corps base.

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most well known places for rock climbing in the U.S. because of its huge boulders and cliffs, as well as the general natural beauty of the park. Additionally, the especially rough rock found there gives extra friction great for rock climbing. Joshua Tree is named for, unsurprisingly, the Joshua Trees that cover the desert floor, which are characterised by their strange looking and spindly branches.

The 10 lucky students who get this trip have the opportunity to climb for hours everyday and test the limits of their climbing abilities. They also learn about things like tying knots, climbing equipment, rappelling, setting up climbs, as well as new climbing techniques. The small nature of the group means by the end of the week the everyone becomes quite close. “It’s surprising the kind of bonds that form when you spend every hour of your day for a week with people.” says student Seth Facey.

Every student must write a reflection about their Wintercession Trip and what they learned during it. Luckily for the kids who go to Joshua Tree, the lessons are quite obvious; how to trust others, how to get along with a group, and how to push yourself physically and mentally. It is no wonder Joshua Tree is one of the most coveted trips offered during Wintercession; it has a high chance of changing the way you think and making you some great friends. Besides that, you get to spend a week enjoying the warmth, the stars, and the beauty of a new environment.