DORSET - It is a 37 year-old tradition that Long Trail School hits the road for all-school trips early in the academic year. This year, classes were cancelled for Sept. 13 and 14 as all students in grades 6-12 departed on outings arranged by grade level. With an allotment of faculty to head the activities, students participated in similar outdoor experiences.

Setting up tents across the school lawn and wishing to sleep out under the stars, grades 6 and 7 used Long Trail campus as their base, doing teambuilding activities before meeting grades 8 and 9 at Bromley Mountain. These grades used Bromley's Aerial Adventure Park as a means of personal challenge and fun. Grades 8 and 9 spent the night at Merck Forest and Farmland Center, sleeping in both cabins and tents. Grades 10 and 11 went to Gale Meadows for their day of kayaking and canoeing, then tenting at Jamaica State Park. The senior class headed to Hadlock Pond in Fort Ann, N.Y. for water fun and class activities.

The evening consisted of cooking dinners, making campfires, telling stories and playing games, and eating s'mores before the call for flashlights out. At breakfast, new seventh grader Claire VanBurken said, "This is an amazing experience because we became better friends with our classmates and schoolmates." Added sixth grader Chloe MacDonald, "Yeah - and I can't wait for next year to meet the new 6th graders!"

The second day all grades did stewardship activities in their locations, coming together as a school for a barbecue lunch on campus.


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Red and White Team games followed, as well as the culmination of the annual Honor Code commitment. As one aspect of the start of the school year, all students and staff pledge to live by Long Trail School's Honor Code, signing both a record book and marking a handprint recognition of this promise.

As students headed home for the weekend, veteran Math teacher Todd Smith summed it up, saying "First and foremost, every student had a blast! For me, this particular LTS fall trip accomplished a great deal in terms of connections for students and faculty and it required very little overhead. It was really quite amazing and special."