Every year we send our faculty and students out on three day camping trips throughout New England. From the Kingdom mountain biking trails in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to Acadia National Park in Maine to my own trip to Watervillle Valley in New Hampshire we set out in groups of 10-14 students and teachers to sea kayak, hike, rock climb, canoe, and mountain bike. These trips provide a great venue for us to get to know one another and return to school with new friends and yet another concentric circle of support within the community.
Many of our students have never spent this much time in nature, unplugged from their laptops and smart phones. They learn that they must take care of themselves since their actions have a direct impact on the whole team. They learn how to cook, make a fire, clean dishes, tie knots, set up tents, find a route using a map, motivate a frustrated or exhausted peer, paddle, hike, climb or bike, dress blisters and scrapes, tell stories and answer riddles, sing 1980’s songs, wear layers, hydrate, and on and on. We are fortunate to live within a three hour radius of some of the most beautiful natural areas on our planet.
Math teacher Katie Curtis used her extensive knowledge of the out-of-doors and group dynamics to organize all of the trips this year and we were all amazed with her attention to detail!
I was fortunate to lead a trip with World Language teacher Nellie Herman and twelve students to my old stomping ground of Waterville Valley in New Hampshire. Here are some photos from our awesome trip.