The Exp Summer Daily

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The Experimentory Blog

Our year-round blog describes our program, values, and plans for next year.

The Exp Summer Daily

Our summer news consists of daily updates while we're in session -- giving a window into past years.

"The Best 4 Weeks of My Life"

Jul 9, 2019 10:16:42 PM

Over the course of five hours, Experimentors from 14 countries and 21 states made their way to the Pioneer Valley. 82 lime green folders later, all of our students were checked in and ready to get rolling with the next few weeks at Deerfield. Hear more about the first day of the Experimentory below:

As families lingered in the Caswell Library, cradled by the wood-paneled bookshelves and oil portraits, our Experimentors were outfitted with t-shirts, notebooks, and water bottles. Our fourteen assistants helped the newly-arrived students pose for their ID photos, set up their rooms, and get acquainted with the campus.


Ossie, Katie, Young, Ricardo, Gabby, Brigid, and Martha pose with Experimentory shirts
from summers past.

Though saying goodbye to parents drew some tears, our Experimentors were quickly on their way to their own experience at the Experimentory. They were quickly occupied with group bonding games: to start off, we physically stepped in and out of our comfort zones—some people are concerningly comfortable with skydiving but terrified of sitting through an opera—and also played some name games.

Mother and brother embrace their student as they say goodbye. Laughter erupts during an ice-breaker game

Abi S. says goodbye to her family.

Cissy F. plays a game with Ms. Hutchinson

But the big moment of the day, for me, came early on, back in the Caswell Library. As I stood sorting t-shirt sizes, two returning parents caught up about the past year in one corner of the room, fanning themselves from heat. I overheard them talking about how excited their kids were to return to Experimentory this July. One father shared that last year, his daughter came home from her first summer away and said, “Dad, it was the best four weeks of my life.” She could barely wait another 12 months to make her way back to Deerfield.

What a great reflection of what Experimentory means to the people who gather together for the summer. Even if the Experimentory isn’t the best two or four weeks of our students’ lives (I mean, c’mon: Hanukkah? Easter? Shark week?), we hope they will expand their minds, push their comfort zones, and maximize their creativity and character.

Tomorrow, we will hit the ground running with the first set of classes, the first sit-down meals, and the first day of no phones. But for now, sleep!

Ben Grimm

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.