In addition to structured orientation meetings, students enjoyed optional outdoor activities, like riding bikes to the Country Store for ice cream, as you can see in the accompanying photos.
Swim tests came and went yesterday, with some students expressing anxiety ahead of time about the cold and murky lake water. Today the general talk about swim tests was, “That wasn’t so bad after all.” Our lakes have reached their highest temperature at this time of the year, and our staff members are sensitive about the range of student swimming ability, which is typically wide. We stress to students that we don’t have any expectations about swimming skills — we just need to know with certainty which students should wear flotation devices in deeper water. Because our swimming season is so short, swimming is optional, and everyone wears flotation devices when canoeing and kayaking, the distinction between swimmers and non-swimmers is not a big issue here.
One aspect of our school culture that students remark on every semester is how accepting the student body as a whole is. Even though we start with a completely different group of students each semester, this cooperative, caring attitude persists from semester to semester. Today at dinner, right on cue, the students at my table exclaimed about what a pleasant surprise it was that their new classmates were all so supportive, accepting, and ready to help one another.
We’ll post blog entries soon on the first few days of class, and you can read about some of the unique activities our teachers have developed to foster these qualities in our students.
-Mary Anna Thornton, Assistant Head of School