More than 130 students in the freshman class started the school year with a five-day trip to the mountains of North Carolina.
"I cannot think of a better way to kick off Upper School than Outward Bound," shared freshman class Form Dean Alyson Kurz. "Watching as they stepped off the bus as trepidatious 8th graders on day 1, I was nervous for their experience. However, Outward Bound allowed them to come together to grow into 9th graders with the self-confidence, determination, and sense of community that is necessary to be successful in the Upper School."
Students hiked, worked on team building, and explored the wilderness with the North Carolina Outward Bound School in the Pisgah National Forest. EA teachers Kim Piersall, Alyson Kurz, Jim Erwin, Meaghan Etherington, Melanie Subacus, and Ashley Lewis also made the trip.
"Starting off the school year is so important for the freshman class because high school is new and scary for everybody," shared Anika Kakarla '23. "I really liked being able to get to know some of the kids that I will be with for the next four years before the school year started."
"Outward Bound was a transformative experience for me," explained Music Department Chair and trip chaperone, Jim Erwin. "I was in awe of how much weight the students were carrying while they hiked throughout the rough terrain in the Pisgah National Forest. I was also so impressed with how much they helped each other in camp by sharing responsibilities for difficult setup and cooking meals."
Rock climbing was the highlight for Dakin Ebmeyer '23. "We bonded a ton throughout the course," said Dakin. "It really helped those who are coming into our grade find friendships."
On the first day, students took part in a "bush push" on their way to the top of Table Rock Mountain. "My crew had many laughs and smiles that brought us closer, all while being put in difficult situations that, in the end, helped us connect," said Margaret Lo '23.
"It was an experience I will never forget!" explained Middle School Spanish teacher Meaghan Etherington. "I was lucky to have Eddie Jones and Lydia Nawrocki as my two belayers when I attempted to climb at Little Lost Cove Cliffs. They were so encouraging and supportive of me, as I struggled my way up the rock face. I felt very safe with them as my belayers, and I am grateful that they volunteered to support me, as I stepped out of my comfort zone and challenged myself with rock climbing."