Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2009
By By Allison Knowles
Last Thursday morning, I left Atmore for an overnight retreat at Adventures Unlimited as part of the Leadership Atmore Class of 2010.
I was eager to meet my classmates, and although I would not have admitted this to anyone, I was a little bit nervous. Jennifer Prestridge was one of the two people I knew out of the 14 members, so when she arrived at our departure spot at the same time as me, I was relieved. I felt like a kid trying to get the seat next to my friend on the school bus.
I quickly tried to learn everyone’s names on the bus, but I don’t think the names really stuck in my head until we were fully engaged in our activities for the day and were in need of each other’s help. The low ropes were quite eventful to say the least. But after an hour and at least more than half of us falling more than once, we pulled together as a team and completed the task.
Friday morning, we set off for our last event of the retreat, a canoe trip. I teamed up with Darrel Ledkins after hearing him say that he had done this before. I think the first five minutes he was ready to find a new partner or drop me off at the bank and continue the trip on his own. It was a rocky beginning for Darrel and me, but after I relaxed and listened to what he was helping me to do, it was smooth sailing.
Some were not that fortunate such as Jennifer and Paula Smith when the canoe they were traveling in overturned into the cool water. Thankfully James Hosman came to their rescue, but later plunged into the water as he and Cornelia Miller tipped over as well, proving that the left is not right.
Overall, the opening retreat was a great experience I will remember always. I am very fortunate to have met all of my classmates and look forward to lasting friendships with each of them.