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Andrew O'Neill '13

It was below freezing and pitch black around him during what promised to be a sleepless night. It was Andrew’s turn the next day to lead the group and he was going to be assessed on his ability to lead his classmates. On top of that, he was also scheduled to teach a lesson on water purification. He prepared himself for the chilly night ahead, making sure to stash his now-frozen water bottle inside the bottom of his sleeping bag to thaw for the morning. As Andrew began to drift into sleep, the thawing bottle of water began to leak. By the time he noticed, the base of his bag had been soaked. “I didn’t sleep the entire night,” exclaims Andrew; on top of this, all the streams outside were frozen. “How are you supposed to teach water purification without any water?” he asked himself.

Andrew states that this backpacking expedition is probably one of the most intense learning experiences he’s ever had. Situations such as these have certainly aided in Andrew’s ability to make critical decisions. Andrew plans on doing an internship at a farm-based camp in Ghent, N.Y., where he plans to “acquire as many responsibilities as he can.” Andrew has worked there before as a house camp-counselor. At camp he guided three separate age groups through different farm-based activates. “Campers learned how the farm worked, about how to feed animals, and play games.”

Balancing a life of adventure and education has not been a walk in the park for this junior. Andrew is taking seventeen credits this semester and still manages to fit in extracurricular activities. He is the president of the Amateur Radio Club, a club he founded as a Delicate Balance project last semester. Additionally, he plays on the school’s tennis team, and has run cross-country for three years.

Andrew has been sailing in the Caribbean, canoeing for two weeks down roughly seventy miles of white-water rivers and plans to take on a similar eclectic lifestyle later in his life. Ideally Andrew will own a camp, offering trips and educational experience for all ages. But for now he says, “I’ll take whatever comes my way.”

-Zak Stark '15

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