Seniors celebrate their class during a camp out

The class of 2017 took advantage of their senior skip day with a camp out on senior Molly Winkler’s family land.


The sun sets on the senior campout. photo courtesy of Molly Winkler

by Maureen Burns and Lucy Whittaker

story by Maureen Burns

The class of 2017 chatted as they set up their village of tents onto 80 acres of land in preparation for their senior campout. Senior Molly Winkler hosted the event on her family’s land in Seneca, Kansas. According to Winkler, the camp out location was last minute because the original host’s parents were out of town.

“It was funny to watch everyone try to set up their tents since we don’t really camp very often in the city,” senior Claire Franey said. “It was a nice change of pace, very relaxing, and a great memory of the class of 2017 that I will never forget.”

Despite not having much time to plan, the Winkler’s created a Google form to see who would attend, made a spreadsheet for volunteers to bring food and ordered port-a-potties all in time for the campout.

“I was just sitting at lunch, we weren’t even talking about it, and I said I should have the campout,” Winkler said. “I didn’t think it would work because we don’t have anywhere to go to the bathroom or anywhere to go if it storms, but I threw it out to the class Group Me and they all wanted to.”

However, with everyone coming at different times and the extra planning, Winkler didn’t feel as though she could relax until she knew everyone was there safely. Winkler’s dad and senior Mary Claire Connor’s dad chaperoned the event and helped with the food to keep the night running smoothly.

photos compiled by Lucy Whittaker

The seniors spent the night around the bonfire, grilling kabobs and hot dogs and sharing memories. The two-hour drive and cold weather didn’t stop the 90 girls who attended the campout. It lasted from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. The seniors were ready to leave for indoor heating by the time morning came.

The seniors took the campout as an opportunity to reconnect with new friends and old friends. They took the time to sit around the bonfire and make conversation.

“The best part of the campout was hanging out with all the girls in my grade that I don’t usually hang out with,” Franey said. “It was the perfect place to just walk into people’s tents and say hey and reminisce about our time at STA. The campout is such a good bonding experience because it is outside of school, so you don’t feel compelled to only hang out exclusively with your friend group.”

Winkler agrees it was a bonding experience at a perfect time in their high school career.

“I think [it was a bonding experience] because we’ve spent 4 years together and we’re really close by the second semester of senior year, but then when you get us all together in that setting and you’re with each other for so long, you realize how close you are with everyone,” Winkler said. “I had a bunch of people tell me that they were talking to people they hadn’t talked to in so long, or never even had the chance to talk to throughout high school.”