“Prepare for anything”: Westminster travel Closer Analysis of Chewonki

Westminster students have numerous great privileges that almost no other schools have. These include the extracurriculars, clubs, and of course, the best of it all: JanTerm. JanTerm is a course that most students take, and many-usually Juniors and Seniors- even travel out-of-state for their applied course. Almost every student describes JanTerm as the “Best thing about Westminster”, from the many students that I’ve heard. And, of course, the best part about JanTerm is traveling.

One person who had a “definitely positive experience” when traveling to mid-coast Maine for JanTerm was junior Rains Draper. He attended a program called Chewonki, based off the name of the camp.

Rains describes Chewonki to be a semester school for Juniors. It takes place in Maine and emphasizes “Natural History, sustainability, wilderness leadership, social justice, and farming”. He says that he chose Chewonki because he knew many relatives and friends who previously participated in it, along with his liking of the wilderness and “Maine winter”. No matter what the reason, Rains was able to dwell in a cabin with wood stoves and work on farms while learning essential skills from Chewonki and commented: “I was not disappointed”.

Probably one of the most rare things that Rains experienced was being special in the lonely sense. As Rains says: “It could be lonely at times (when I went I was one of 4 Southerners and one of 3 Christians in the group), but that loneliness translated into positive growth and independence”. Aside from learning outcomes, Rains participated in something called the “Human Capstone Project”, where he investigated ways for Chewonki to produce its own salt. In fact, Rains wrote and produced an album, which is currently on itunes and Spotify, and he even performed his songs in bars in Maine and Atlanta.

I would call Chewonki quite of a ride, being one of the travel programs in Westminster. With loads of activities and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, Chewonki can definitely be a considered travel option for many students.

Whether you choose Chewonki or not, Rains has some advice to all students about travel: “Prepare for anything”.