October 2-3 – When the fourth grade embarks upon a journey to Camp Jewell in the fall, the excitement is palpable.
This trip to the bucolic YMCA camp in Colebrook, Connecticut, which many of the students have been anticipating for years, is finally here. The overnight trip is an action-packed 36 hours that never disappoints. The students have the opportunity to get to know each other outside of the classroom and to bond in new ways. They learn songs, chants, and when they return, they revel in the shared experiences from their time away. This year our activities included a pond study, forest ecology, outdoor survival skills, crate climb, and Mt. Wood (a climbing wall). Each activity tested the students' stamina, cooperation, communication skills, and perseverance, but in a very different way than in the classroom. For the teachers, it is a chance to see our students in an entirely different light, learning about their wide array of interests and hobbies, as well as finding out who likes to sing at the top of their lungs when they first wake up in the morning.
When the bus pulls back into the parking lot on West Patent Road, we return a class of slightly dirty and seriously worn out children to their parents, smiling from ear to ear thinking about their collective journey. Camp Jewell is an essential element of Rippowam Cisqua School’s Lower Campus experience, bringing the fourth grade community closer and teaching us that all learning doesn’t necessarily have to happen within the walls of our school.
TEXT: Fourth grade teacher Ken Jordan
PHOTOGRAPHY: Spanish teacher Beth Smith and fourth grade teacher Nora Zahner
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.