by Cacique Carter Community meetings are my favorite part of the week. On Monday, the groups ofIslandSchoolstudents (K1 andK2) and faculty on campus gathered together to discuss, reflect, and acknowledge recent events, feelings, and actions. Having just been reunited together after our separate kayak trips, we all had so much to catch up on. For me, the best and most memorable part of this meeting was when we shared with the rest of the community our favorite part of our kayak trip. It was incredible how, when one person shared their own story, the eleven other people in their group were equally as entertained and inspired. Anika recalled a moment when K1 was dragging their kayaks through a mangrove swamp, and when all hopes were down, Zeeke brought out candy and cookies, which he shared with the rest of the group! As Anika shared her story, the rest of K1 laughed, moaned, and cheered for Zeeke in unison. And when Jane remembered the tarp-sailboat (the S.S. Pamela) that K2 invented while on their trek to Lighthouse beach. The memory of one moment caused even more laughter, further stories, and appreciation of a wonderful time we shared together as a group – and now as a larger community. The recollection of great times evolved into individual recognitions of support and kindness. Double-kayak buddies were acknowledging each other for being amazing partners. Students were thanking their kayak leaders for being there to help them in times of both physical and emotional need. Friends were also recognizing each other for building unbelievable fires, cooking delicious food, and always being there to talk. There was definitely an overwhelming amount of appreciation for the kitchen ladies who baked us mouthwatering bread that we ate together after our solo experiences. Throughout and after this meeting, I felt a new, deeper, and common bond formed between the Island School community. Now, having all been through similar testing, connecting, and individual experiences, we are able to appreciate each others presence in a greater sense – knowing that everyone can relate to everything you have been through at The Island School so far. Knowing that there will always be someone to lighten the mood (even if it is not Zeke’s candy and cookies). Knowing that there will always be someone to lean on. Talk to. Struggle with. Laugh with.