By Gwendolyn Fruehauf, SGI Student Reporter

With the start of the school year right around the corner, it is to no one’s surprise that all of the fall sports teams have jumped head first into preparation for the upcoming season.

Last week, the Springville Cross Country team traveled to Allegany State Park to join Dunkirk, Silver Creek, and Pioneer at Camp Allegany, a 5-day running camp.

These teams congregated not only in hopes of achieving physical goals, but also to expand social connections between the four attending teams and within each individual team.

Morgan Lukert, a senior and cross country runner at Springville, explained how significant the camping experience was to the team bonding atmosphere and to achieving individual goals.

“I think there are two purposes to running camp. I think there is individual purpose and then there’s your team bonding purpose,” Lukert explained. “Running camp allows you to bond with your team, whether it be sitting in the creek, taking naps together…there are many different bonding things, but individually, it lets you figure out how far you can go and how far you can push yourself.”

“And you have your team there to support you,” she added. “It’s team bonding in the sense that we’re spending more time together.”

But what is team bonding? And why is it important?

Team bonding is a term used to describe various types of activities that help enhance relationships within a team, which in turn leads to team spirit, or willingness to cooperate as part of a team.

Team spirit makes a team stronger.

So, team bonding is important to the success of every team, and according to Lukert, the Springville Cross Country Team used the many active forms of team bonding at Camp Allegany to become closer with one another.

“We definitely know more about each other now,” Lukert said.

When asked, “In 20 years, what are some of the best memories you will have from this camp?” Lukert only had to think for a moment. “Our naps…for sure,” she said with a smile.

Seeking assistance in further answering the question, she looked to her teammate, Evelyn Smith, behind her.

Smith also knew what she wanted to say. “Sitting in the creek and freezing together, probably,” she said, committing the event to memory. “Or all stretching together and not knowing what we’re doing.”

We remember what we want to remember. And remembering times when we were having fun with our team only goes to show that being a part of a family has an enormous impact on our lives and the memories we keep with us forever.