Walk in the Stream

The summer when I was in Grade 5, all the Grade 5 children in my school went on a three-day camping trip to a mountain about an hour bus ride away from the school. The trip was packed with different kinds of activities, including the mountain climbing, the campfire, and what’s called “walk in the stream.”

Prior to the trip, we were all called to the school’s auditorium for a thorough orientation regarding the planned activities so that we knew what to expect and hence would be prepared well. The activity “walk in the stream” was explained in greatest details since it was considered to be the most dangerous activity of all. In the mountain, there was a very clean stream, and the idea of this activity was to walk up the stream for a few kilometers starting from somewhere near our camping place.

“You’re going to walk in the water,” the teachers explained to us. “It’s rocky and slippery, so you have to be careful. And sometimes, the water can be deep – it may come all the way up to your chest!”

Somehow, this one sentence thrilled me. Being a fan of adventures, the idea of walking in the deep water and through the rocky passage appealed to me. From that day on, I started looking forward to the activity “walk in the stream.”

When the day of this activity finally arrived, I was so enthusiastic that I was skipping as we all walked from our camping place to the stream. I was ready to walk in the deep water all the way up to the finishing point.

When we got to the stream, however, my heart sank in disappointment since it was such a small stream, and I couldn’t see any deep spots whatsoever.

“Maybe, it becomes deeper later on!” I remained hopeful as I dipped my bare feet into the water to start the journey.

We walked in the stream, forming a line. I kept waiting for the water to get deeper and for the passage to become treacherous, but they never did. The stream was quite stable, and though rocky, the water was never deep. It came up to my ankles, but that was it.

“When will it reach my chest?”

I grew impatient. Even though the stream was shallow in general, there were a few spots where the water was slightly deeper than the rest. I started going to those spots and sitting there so that the water actually did reach my chest. I continued my journey bathing myself here and there in the cold water. It was more like a self-imposed challenge, but it gave me the sense of adventure that I had been longing for.

When we finished and got out of the stream, my clothes were totally wet like no other, and I was finally satisfied that I had experienced “walk in the stream” for real.

Later, my mother heard from my friends’ mothers that I was almost swimming during the “walk in the stream” activity.