The Exp Summer Daily

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Day 17 – Friends on the Trail

Jul 26, 2016 9:20:00 PM

 

As a DA graduate (Class of ’15), Proctor Sam Morse has a soft spot for Deerfield practices and traditions. In our Day 17 post, she explains how she combined one of her favorites with one of her private pastimes.


As a student at Deerfield Academy, co-curricular activities were the best part of my day. Whether I was running around the field or performing on stage, I valued that time away from my schoolwork. It also allowed me to connect with students from other grades, dorms, and classes. When I returned to DA this summer to work for the Experimentory, I was excited to learn that our program was going to incorporate this tradition.

A hike to the Rock is a Deerfield Academy classic. 
 On the Rock

As I started brainstorming various activities to lead during this time, I reminisced on my favorite co-curriculars at Deerfield, while also considering the unique opportunities that summer in Western Massachusetts presents. Another one of my favorite things about Deerfield is its location. Centered in the Pioneer Valley, the Academy has access to countless hiking trails, mountains, and state parks. Naturally, I decided I was going to lead a week-long hiking co-curricular.

Katie, a fellow proctor, and I began planning each hike. Our initial plan for the week was overly ambitious. We were afraid the kids would be too tired by the time co-curricular time came around. Let me tell you: that was the biggest misjudgment. Our hiking group – which includes Bella, Lucy, Chris, Sami D, Avery, Reshma and Serena – is energetic, curious, and entertaining. Although as of my writing we have only completed the first two hikes of the week, I am excited to watch this group conquer our next three

The Hiking Co-Curricular visits a Massachusetts State Reservation

At Mt Toby State Reservation

On Monday, we hiked to the Rock – a cherished Deerfield tradition. The trail provides a 4-mile roundtrip hike with a stunning view of the Deerfield Campus and Valley. It can be a challenging and exhausting. Katie and I were impressed by the kid’s determination – especially considering they had just done this hike on Saturday morning with the entire program. In order to pass the time as we went, Katie shared a fun game her family plays while hiking called Categories. Each hiker has to name an item that falls into the given category. You keep going until someone gets stuck or repeats something already said. It’s simple, but also a lot harder than it sounds. It was good to watch the kids bond as they played and created a new and improved “house rules” together. In a matter of a few hours, our hiking co-curricular group was spectacular. As the week goes on, I am eager to watch, as the group dynamic grows stronger.

-- Sam M.

All seven students and two proctors in the hiking co-curricular pose for a picture.
On the Canalside Rail Trail in Greenfield


The Exp Summer Daily provides news and updates while we are in session in July and August. The rest of the year, check out the Experimentory Blog for posts feature our students, teachers, classes, values, goals, and plans for the coming year.