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Over the Christmas break, Jan. 1-6, 2019, 48 students from Southern Arkansas University along with faculty and staff went to Winter Park, Colorado, for the second annual Christmas Break Ski Trip. It is safe to say that the second trip exceeded all expectations.

On New Year’s Day, we left the SAU campus about 7 p.m., headed to our destination. Some might say that being on a bus for a long time would be difficult or boring, but it was the complete opposite. The trip took about 16 hours, including a few stops.

After we arrived that next day, everyone went to get fitted for their skis, snowboards, and helmets. Afterward, we found out that there were busses that would allow us to ride into town at no charge. When we got back to the hotel, the girls I was rooming with and I decided to go and explore all the amenities. I fell in love with the indoor pool and Jacuzzi and the hotel had a movie playing every night so that guests could enjoy a movie while they swam.

During the next three days, the students and the sponsors went to take a chance on the slopes. The first day, one of the sponsors helped students who had no idea how to ski, and within a couple of hours, they were pros, conquering bunny slope. Afterward, between snowboarding and skiing, everyone was able

to get major air. The majority of the students went on the steepest part of the mountain which was called Marry Jane. That evening, people would go into town and enjoy the scenery and grab a bite to eat from one of the local restaurants. Others would relax in the pool.

On Jan. 4, we all went to this huge tubing place that was not too far from town. Once we arrived, a few of us looked at each other in disbelief that we actually had to go down that huge hill. After we conquered our fears, it was a blast of fun. For a whole hour, we enjoyed bonding with each other while we were freezing.

Before we left, everyone decided to go down as a big group of about 25. Let’s just say that it was hard for everyone to do that at the same time.skii

The next day was the last day for everyone to be able to ski and enjoy the slopes for the last time until we come back next year. Everyone had to make sure that they got their pictures as well as their very own wipeout videos.

The trip was a success not just because I said so, but because of the students and sponsors who did things outside of what they normally do. Elizabeth Mangus, who is a graduate student, stated, “This was the first time that I had a good experience on a charter bus and it was great. I also liked the fact that no one took ski lessons, because it was very easy. The tubing experience was amazing just having the chance to actually do it.”

“The best part was actually being able to ski for the first time, seeing the beautiful town even though it was cold at times, seeing the staff relaxed and not in a formal setting, and getting the chance to meet new people,” said freshman Andria Curtis. Kandice Herron, assistant dean of Student Activities, was happy about all the friendships that formed during the trip and glad that students got to have a fun experience before school starts back up.

 

 

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