The overnight fall trips in Classes 6 and 7, which have been an integral part of the Middle School experience for many years, returned after a two-year Covid hiatus.
Each trip provides a unique opportunity for students to form or expand relationships with their classmates and faculty chaperones which is especially helpful for new students who get to know their peers better outside of the classroom. As such, students boarded their respective coach buses and embarked on exciting field trips to Sandwich, Cape Cod, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 18-20.
Since the spring, MS faculty have been exploring new options for Class 6, since the camp that they traditionally visited closed during the pandemic. When Associate Head of Middle School Trude Goodman visited Camp Burgess and met with the staff over the summer, she was instantly impressed with both the facilities and the program options. Camp Burgess’ website stresses "Learning, Growing and Belonging,” and notes that its goal is to develop “conscientious citizens by instilling wonder, encouraging stewardship, and cultivating community,” which beautifully aligns with Chapin’s mission and values.
While there, students participated in various hands-on activities to learn about forest ecology and sustainable farming, as well as team building exercises, such as high and low ropes courses and zip lining! With the bonus of fabulous weather, the students enjoyed a campfire sing-along, movie night and Green vs. Gold games. A great time was had by all!
Meanwhile, Class 7 spent three action-packed and enlightening days exploring Philadelphia, a city known for its rich history, vibrant culture and easy walkability.
Two-and-a-half hours after departing from Chapin, the grade arrived at their first stop, the science-focused Franklin Institute, where they watched a planetarium show and explored various exhibits. Later, the students spent time at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and The Barnes Foundation, which is dedicated to educating young people about fine arts and horticulture. They also participated in a guided walking tour and a candlelit “ghost tour” of the city’s historical landmarks after dark. More highlights included a visit to Eastern State Penitentiary, the notorious and fascinating former prison, and a dinner-and-dancing cruise along the Delaware River.
Enhanced by blue skies and a thoughtfully planned itinerary, the Philly trip connected seamlessly with Class 7’s coursework in Humanities and Science while affording these Middle Schoolers the chance to bond with one another and enjoy much of what this important city has to offer.