OGDEN -- The temperature outside was 26 degrees Saturday morning as nearly 50 North Davis Preparatory Academy students plunged into the freezing Weber River.
There was a reason behind their madness, however. If they made it through, they got to collect pledge funds that will go toward a trip to Spain.
"Oh it was so worth it," said ninth-grader Bella Cherone. "The trip costs about $3,000 and we've been doing a lot of things to raise money. I just earned $200 by jumping."
The event took place at Fort Buenaventura. Several of the students showed up in costumes such as mermaids, SpongeBob, Mickey Mouse, old ladies, pirates, hot dogs, ballerinas and athletes. A few came dressed as chickens.
"I refuse to freeze myself on a perfectly nice day," said Alex Evaro, who was dressed as a chicken from head to toe. "Besides, I wouldn't have been able to wear this costume that my mom slaved over all night if I were jumping."
This is the fourth year in a row ninth-graders will be traveling to Spain to complete a 10-day course in culture and academics, said Karl Dumas, a parent and three-time polar plunger.
"I have a son who went on the trip and it was a wonderful experience," he said. "The opportunity for the kids to go abroad and learn about the language and the culture is a great way to experience the world. When I was growing up if you got out of the town you lived in, you were a world traveler."
Christian Carlson said he wanted to participate because it's a fun and unique way to earn money.
"It was kind of a rush," he said. "As I was standing there waiting to jump I was kind of nervous. Once I jumped in, it was so cold it actually hurt and I just wanted to keep moving so I could get out of there as fast as I could. It was definitely worth it though."
Aaron Vidmar said he was nervous to jump into the water as well.
"You know it's going to be cold, but it was so cold my legs automatically went numb," he said. "My feet were stuck in the mud too and it was kind of hard to walk through it. It was just kind of a shock to the system but it was fun. I already raised my money doing other things, so I didn't really need to jump but I'm glad I did it."
Dozens of spectators and the school's cheerleading squad were there to support the plungers. Some of the kids raised several hundred dollars while others raised more than $1,000. The kids leave for Spain in March and will study at Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca. After completing the trip they will receive class credits and a diploma.