Camping, hiking, and learning to scale rock walls are not the typical start to school for most students.
"Starting off Upper School, and the school year, with the annual Outward Bound trip is an important tradition at EA," shared Class of 2027 Form Dean Ryan Klein '09. "Getting to see the students overcome fears, champion each other, and complete each challenge that came their way as a crew was an unforgettable experience."
During this year's trip, 128 students tackled the challenges during the five-day adventure in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.
"Being new to Episcopal this year, it was nerve-racking knowing I was going to be spending five days in the wilderness with people I had never met," said Monica Feeney '27. "Throughout the duration of the trip, I created bonds with everyone in my homeroom, and on the last day, was able to share my experience with the rest of the grade."
Students were divided into 12 crews and learned to work as a team with considerations for everyone on team. Outward Bound focuses on The Four Pillars, which paired well with the EA Stripes.
"The pillars are Self-reliance, Craftsmanship, Fitness, Compassion," explained Mr. Klein. "Each student was tasked to find a pillar or EA Stripe that they could gain the most from and focus on it when times got difficult."
Students learned about trust by scaling a rock wall, trying new foods, and spending a few hours alone during their 'solo time.'
"We were entirely alone for four hours with nothing but a mat, water, notebook, and pen. Having no sense of time during solo was definitely challenging," Monica said. "One of my instructors, Gavin, told us that if you stop and look around for a moment, you will realize how fast everything moves around you. During solo, I looked around realizing that I wasn't alone; I had the whole world around me still moving."
"Starting out the year with Outward Bound, I feel entirely prepared for this upcoming school year," said Monica. "Not just with the bonds I created but with a different outlook on the year."
The Class of 2027's North Carolina Outward Bound School trip took place Aug. 16-21.