Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus
Riding down an empty highway while singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody over the course of 1,200 miles between New Hampshire and Michigan is how senior Ned Curfman spent five weeks of his last summer at Camp Miniwanca.
Since Curfman was in fourth grade, he has spent a total of 38 weeks at the camp designed to create balanced lives. The Odyssey Trip starts in Miniwanca’s sister camp Merrowvista in New Hampshire and concludes on the shores of Lake Michigan. Camp Miniwanca is a leadership camp designed to help kids create balance lives socially, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Curfman has felt this mission in his own life.
“It would be impossible for me to advocate these trips enough.” Curfman said, “ It’s so fundamentally different from everyday life: every day- sometimes every hour- we’d be in another unfamiliar place, meeting different people and experiencing new things. Being on trail has an infinitely simpler goal than high school. You have one straightforward objective: get there.”
Despite being spread across seven states and only seeing each other at camp, Curfman feels he is closer to them than most people here in KC and even refers to them as his “brothers”. Trips like these drain you emotionally and physically, which left them vulnerable and able to form relationships.
Curfman and the other twelve people on his ride across America had odd experiences which have brought them closer together. They like to say they smuggled a kitten across the Canadian border. In reality, as they were riding near the border of Canada, it began to “monsoon” and there on the side of the road was a kitten. They named it Jadon. Jadon was carried in their bike baskets to the Canadian Border Patrol.
Curfman has only missed one summer at Miniwanca. He has built relationships with the people at this camp and his planning to continue these unique experiences as a camp counselor next year. Curfman wants to spread the message that he has been receiving since he was a fourth grader.
“I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Curfman said “Looking back, almost three weeks after we finished it, I wish we could have kept going, to the places still unknown to us. There is nothing I wouldn’t give for the chance to pick up where we left off, or to do it all again.”