As the lazy days of summer began to wane and August reared its mighty head, many a heart and a mind were aflutter with excitement and anticipation for what the new school year had to bring. Students and teachers alike packed away their sun-drenched dreams and put on their Big Girl Pants to face the likes of homework assignments, practice SAT tests, and endless reminders of obligations to come. But before the PAS community buckled down to “real” life, one final ray of hope awaited – our annual Camp PAS, which always promises early wake up call groans, food-related anxiety, and at least a month’s worth of jokes at the expense of unwitting prank victims.

This year’s Camp did not disappoint on any account, and far surpassed the hopes of even the most optimistic among us. The venue was fantastic, a sprawling resort in the backdrop of Tainan’s best (only?) mountain range that provided endless activities, from zip-lining to water fights, pool volleyball, laser tag, and whatever you were supposed to do with those big balls.

Student teams were formed, each represented by a wild animal, including, mysterious, the ubiquitous 台灣黑狗, or “rare” Taiwanese black dog (no comment from the author, who passes at least three of these so-called scarce mongrels on her daily walks). A group of staff were assigned to each student cohort, although they were left with little to do thanks to the extraordinary organizational skills of the Activity Organizers. Schedules were created and vigorously enforced, students were clear on where to be and what they had to be doing, and the entire event flew by without a hiccup.

The two-day event ended with an early hike to a nearby reservoir, an ideal locale for postcard-perfect pictures, and a fabulous lunch in downtown Tainan’s famed Smokey Joe’s Bistro. After an activity-filled Camp, students were down to gorge themselves on nachos, chicken wings, and sweet tea before wearily dragging themselves back onto the bus to nap, happily dreaming of what adventures would await at next year’s Camp.