First days of school will always stress a student out. The first few weeks for freshmen are a new and frightening experience in itself, and returning students face a year full of new students and teachers.
“I think it’s important to do outdoor education early and often because I think it helps build the community and initiates students into the values of OVS,” said English teacher Crystal Davis, who formerly ran the Outdoor Edcutation program at the Upper Campus.
The tufa’s at Mono Lake. Photo by Kai Lin.
The camping trip, beginning to end, was a flourish of excitement and exhaustion. The OVS community bonded as a school and not just as a class, as students from all grade levels were integrated in activities such as hiking or relaxing by a hot spring.
“I had fun spending time away from school and spending time getting to know people in the senior class whom I don’t usually spend time with,” senior Natalie Wescott said. “I haven’t had a chance to go camping in a while and I appreciated the chance to reconnect with nature.”
Craig Floyd, director of athletics at the Upper Campus, explained the value of the new system.
“[It] lessen[s] the impact on the classroom,” he said. “The process we used last year was quite disruptive to the academic learning environment so it’s easier and less disruptive.”
Students old and new have began their formal classes with newly built friendships and a sense of community more established than last year. After all, one can’t cuddle in a tent with someone for five days and not become friends.