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Quotes from the trip:

“Going into this trip, I figured it would be relatively simple just because some of us were new campers and had never set up a tent, let alone hiked for a week. By the first day, I learned how wrong I was. …[W]e also hiked the toughest trail of the Appalachian and continued even in the rain and in the dark. The lessons taught on this trip are not ones that I could have learned in everyday life; these lessons come from doing, from experiencing, and I couldn’t be more thankful that I was given a chance to learn them. This trip was difficult and terrifying at times; I was definitely pushed to my limits, but I was also able to learn more about myself—my motivation and the way I worked with other people—in that short week more than I have during any point in my life.”

“It was most definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, but the bonds I formed with not only the other 4 scholars from my school but all [the] others were amazing. I can’t thank you enough for this incredible opportunity.”

“From some of the hardest of challenges come the strongest of friendships, and I owe those and so much more to this generous foundation and the Stamps family. ”

“I personally had an incredible time, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it was a valuable experience, which taught us things from setting up tents and cleaning the pots to working with others and maintaining a positive outlook even in the dampest conditions. There were also other lessons that cannot possibly be described.”

“It wasn’t an easy trip – and I have enough bruises to prove it! – but I’ve met some wonderful people and explored some absolutely awe-inspiring sights. If there’s one thing I learned, it is to not believe in myself, but to believe in overcoming myself and [my] limits.”

“I can honestly say that the week I spent backpacking in Maine with my fellow Stamps Scholars was one of the greatest weeks of my life. The relationships and strong bonds I formed with these people are truly remarkable. Everyone is so multi-faceted and intelligent and incredible! In terms of the mix of students on the trip, I think that it’s great to have a few people from your own school but also some students from other colleges. [I}t was wonderful to meet the rest of the students from all over the country. Being a part of such a far-reaching network already is so wonderful.”

“While the course was at times extremely challenging, it was challenging in the best of ways–it pushed us to our limits, made us realize that we could go past those limits, made us put full trust in each other, made us question certain values, reaffirmed passions. It is something that I wish every incoming freshman could experience–in the meantime, it’s definitely a great thing for Stamps Scholars. Outward Bound is an outstanding organization whose values line up with those of the Stamps Foundation, I believe. I cannot adequately express how very grateful I am to the foundation and Mr. Stamps. This trip was a huge blessing, a collection of life lessons, and full of memories.”

“The conservation of natural resources and of our beautiful world is something that is quite near to my heart (and relevant to my major!). To be able to spend an entire week immersed in nature, using the bare minimum needed for survival, was incredible for me. It really made us reconsider our constant need for technology, hot showers, etc.”