The Experimentory Blog

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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.

Maximize Character: Community

March 1, 2018

You want a tree.

Trees are made of wood, right? So you stop by a lumber yard and purchase some 2x4's. An hour, a bottle of wood glue, and a whole lot of nails later, you have a trunk. Since trees stick out of the ground, you bury one end in dirt. After drilling a few holes and jamming in some broken broom handles, you have branches. Cut up newspapers form leaves; crinkled aluminum foil is passable bark; cherries, apples, and bananas hung from the branches offer a final flourish.

You're proud. You've been in that sweet, creative-excited zone. So it's not until you step back to admire that it sinks in:

This is not a tree.

Students film a swimming scene in the Deerfield River.

To successfully create a film, a team
must share ideas, make decisions,
and combine different skills.

Perhaps this mixed-media amalgamation is a beautiful representation of a tree. Perhaps it reminds people of trees. If you leave it outside perhaps a pair of nesting birds will make it home. But it's not a tree. Trees are grown, not built.

Community is like that. People can't be hobbled together like Frankenstein's Monster. Community needs to grow, and the Experimentory provides the time, space, and care required. Students work side-by-side in class, share meals in the Dining Hall, make plans for free time, try out one another's favorite past times during co-curricular time, learn to live together in the dorms, and form countless memories. 

Middle school students play in sprinklers during Exp15
A random fun walking back from
co-curriculars.

Community isn't just a side benefit of our summer program. It's the context for maximizing our character: learning things like cooperation, compromise, kindness, respect, and more. It's also an essential part of boarding school life -- which is why it will come up again in our next Sampling Deerfield post.

Here's just one setting for forming community: our daily sitdown
lunches. For more, visit the our Experience page.


Experimentory Blog highlights the students, teachers, classes, values, goals, and future plans of Deerfield Academy's middle school summer program. Please complete the form below to subscribe!

Visit our Summer BlogFacebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr pages for snapshots of each summer's adventures. 

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