A True Test of Character

David - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on December 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude

This past summer, I went on a trip to Colorado through my summer camp. There was a group of forty of us from St. Louis, Dallas, Kansas City, Omaha, and so on. We went all over Colorado climbing mountains, hiking trails, visiting towns, and what not.

One of the highlights of the trip was going white water rafting. It was a two-day trip. The first was sort of an introduction into white water rafting. Not really a lot of crazy rapids, just enough to, excuse the pun, get our feet wet. The second day was when the fun really started. We were going down a sequence of about eight rapids that were between class two and class four. Our guide had warned us that we could fall out of the boat if we did not listen to exactly what he told us to do. However that did not scare us one bit. We were ready to go white water rafting. About halfway through the rapids, we encountered the most dangerous part. A series of about 5 foot falls. Our raft successfully made it out of those falls, with the only consequence being getting a little soaked. All that remained were some simple rapids that we had done several times earlier in the day. Something went wrong though. Our raft might have hit a rock before going down the rapids, or we might not have paddled exactly as we were supposed to. Whatever happened, the consequence was the same. Going down a small fall, out raft flipped over. Being under water in rapids is scary enough, but it is even scarier when the water is 50 degrees and you have 1000 pounds in a raft coming down at you. That’s when your body hits survival mode. We all were literally fighting for our lives. The other rafts immediately paddled towards us in order to help get us out of the water. Whether they were in the front of the boat or the back, our friends rushed over to pull us out of the water. By doing that, they risked flipping their own rafts as well. However, they didn’t care. They only wanted to make sure that their friends would survive. I believe that only a life and death situation shows a person’s true colors. I got to see what all my friends were really like that day on the river. And I am glad that they all reacted in the same way. They were going to save those of us that had fallen in no matter what.