Games and adventure activities, rafting and beach fun: Brooks' annual class trips day offered students a fun opportunity to bond with their classmates on- and off-campus on September 14.
See pictures and video from each of the class trips on brooksschoolphotos.com.
Each form participated in a trip together as a final element of orientation. "The activities planned for each form are designed to challenge students and the form, by giving them an opportunity to work cooperatively with classmates and faculty, to build trusting and on-going relationships and for the group to have fun," Brooks' deans detailed in a memo sharing information about the busy day.
The day was so busy, in fact, that two of the forms departed campus for the day right after breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Fourth-formers bussed up to the Browne Center at the University of New Hampshire for around six hours of challenges on low- and high-ropes courses.
Fifth-formers plunged into a full day of white-water rafting on the Deerfield River in western Mass.
Meanwhile, third formers stuck to campus and worked with the leadership training organization Project Adventure, Inc., on team-building exercises and group activities.
"Everybody really got into it," said Grant Kaplan '22. "It was lots of fun." Kaplan especially liked the small-group jump-rope challenge because he said, "it was a lot of work but we all worked together and almost completed it."
Hugh Park '22 most enjoyed "learning some new names," he said. Those classmates' monikers quickly came in handy for coordinating with other students on Project Adventure's activities. "My favorite thing, though, were the group huddles, when we got all pumped up for each challenge," he said. "Everyone was excited and it felt like we were really working together."
See video of students participating in a challenge on our Deans' Den Blog.
Aidan Jarvis '22 also appreciated the opportunity that the activities offered to make new acquaintances. During one, the members of his group had to pair up and learn something about their partner without speaking. "We had to act out what we wanted to say," he explained. "I ski, so I acted that out." Without words, students had to really put effort into communicating. "Now," said Jarvis, "I know a lot about what some other people like, and the sports they play."
Sixth-formers started their day on campus as well — in the academic building for Brooks' College Counseling Office's College Jumpstart Program from 8 a.m. to noon.
The program was comprised of three sessions, each focused on providing students with help on a different aspect of applying to college. A communications workshop offered the sixth-formers advice about to make the most of college representatives visits to campus and how to keep in touch afterward.
The essay workshop addressed the importance of this piece of the application and provided strategies to crafting a great read.
A session with Brooks' college counselors offered nuts-and-bolts information about the common application, as well as the college prep software Naviance. And a workshop on mindfulness — aiming to provide stress relief and teach students tools to manage any anxiety they may feel during the application process — wrapped up the program.
Afterward, the form hit the beach in nearby Hampton, N.H. for an afternoon of sun and fun.
The mindfulness session "was very helpful," Vicki Haghighi '19 reflected before her class departed for the coast. "The things we talked about calmed us all down."
The sixth-former "will definitely" put into play the steps she that learned to relieve stress, re-group and deal with all of the deadlines looming (not to mention fear of rejection) this winter, she said. "The whole applying-to-college process is very uncertain, so I loved the advice that one way to cope is to hope for the best and then wait and see!" And a little beach getaway every now and then doesn't hurt either!
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