Weekly Letter 4.24.17

Dear Families:


Today our third graders got to school nice and early in order to embark on the annual third grade trek to Camp Speers Eljabar,  a YMCA camp in the Poconos.  There is something incredibly exciting about this: Eight year olds going away from home, ready to be independent and a part of a community other than family.  In the next three days, these young people will learn that they can  separate from their parents, take care of themselves and become experts on bogs, waterfalls, canoeing and building shelters.  


It’s a lot different than the November fifth grade trip to Frost Valley, a YMCA camp in the Catskills where our ten and eleven year olds show their competence at being away from family.  For them, the annual tradition is a way to nurture friendships as they enjoy their last year at BNS.    

Back in March, our fourth graders ventured off to Ashokan, a camp in upstate New York, which teaches about life in earlier times.  There they learned blacksmithing, how to make an old fashioned broom and had the opportunity to experience colonial school in a one room schoolhouse.  This year, too, they got to enjoy lots of snow.  Once again, they proved their ability to be independent, able to negotiate without parental structure, while enjoying the company of their peers.  

These three days in the woods teach more than anyone realizes and certainly more than the too frequent skill and drill activities of many schools.  Who knows?  After these days away, our children may return with plans to go to sleep away camp or become a botanist or an environmental scientist or a historian of colonial times.  Anything is possible!

All for now,