A quick update from trip leader Nate:
While backpacking through Panthertown Valley, students practiced individual and co-leadership skills. Each group saw at least two waterfalls, and one group was saw three different waterfalls! Everyone swam in the stream to cool off after hiking. We pushed through a powerful downpour of rain, but everyone was in high spirits afterwards. The community is much stronger from the hardships faced together, but also the fun of our first backountry excursion. Afterwards, we celebrated with the traditional Mexi Cook-off competition between the three backpack groups. It was a close competition with all of the prepared dishes tasting amazing! The next day we drove to the Nantahala RIver and got on the river as a large group. We enjoyed some swift whitewater rapids and splashing games. This morning, we split into two groups to start our canoeing trip on Lake Santeetlah.