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Power to the People ECS | Power Dynamics

March 02, 2020

The first day of the Power to the People ECS began with an immediate immersion into the innate power dynamics of society. The ECS group removed themselves from the busy, crowded world, filled with media and distractions, to study the power dynamics of people on a most basic level. With the snow delay, the ECS packed up at 10:00 and began the trek to the Never Summer Nordic Cabin near Walden, Colorado. After the vans passed through Denver, our phones were taken away from us. Unsurprisingly, after the obstacle of a constantly distracting phone in the way of social interaction, we all began to engage with each other on a much deeper level.

After four hours of driving, we arrived at the Moose Visitor’s Center, which was about a mile away from our cabin. As the teachers figured out our snowshoeing route for the next day, students explored the museum and learned about the rich history of the area. We were surprised to learn that during World War II there was a German Prisoner of War (POW) Camp in the deep woods of Walden, Colorado. Philipp W. ‘22 read a pamphlet that was on display inside the museum, written in German that described how to use the logging tools that the POWs were using during the War. When we left the Visitor’s center, we only had a ten-minute push to finish off the long drive.

When we finally arrived, students worked quickly to unload the van and set up the cabin. We formally met our guest teacher, Leon, and played ice-breaker games to get to know our peers on a deeper level. We then ate dinner and socialized as the sun set and our headlamps slowly became the only source of light in the rural cabin. When everyone had eaten and all the dishes were washed, we began our evening activity, a game called Werewolf.

Very similar to Mafia, Werewolf gave each person a persona, including Sorceress, townsperson, Hunter, Thief, Werewolf, Cupid, and the siblings. As we played, I was voted off first with the explanation that was I to be a werewolf, I was too persuasive and could be used to hurt the group. When weighing the positives and negatives of having a persuasive person in the group, people decided that it would be better to vote off the person who could possibly harm the group the most. This strategy backfired, however, for I turned out to be the Sorceress, who had the power to bring someone back to life at some point in the game. This idea was our main takeaway from the game: Our innate distrust of someone who had the power to argue both sides of the issue was so powerful that we foolishly killed the only person who had the power to help others within the game. As we concluded our first day, we set up a schedule to keep the fire going throughout the night. We were all so exhausted that the chatter died quickly and all slept deeply.