Grade 8 Outdoor Education

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

I want to share with you some important information about the Grade 8 Outdoor Education trip slated for Wednesday, October 2 through Friday, October 4.   

This three-day, two-night excursion is an important facet of the Middle School program. Through our collaboration with InnerQuest, the eighth graders will learn to set up their own camp, cook their own meals in the outdoors, and assume a variety of leadership roles.  In small groups, the girls will tackle problem-solving initiatives, a ropes course, rock climbing and rappelling, caving, and canoeing.

One guiding belief of our outdoor education program is that we often learn more about ourselves when we push our comfort limits. Many of the girls have never tried anything like these experiences, and this trip offers opportunities for the girls to learn more about themselves and their peers. In a day and age when fewer and fewer tasks require personal interaction, this trip allows the girls to slow down, to leave all of the trappings of social media behind, and to enjoy each other’s company in a setting quite different from the MS hallways.

The success of this trip is largely dependent upon thorough preparation; therefore, we ask that you adhere to the packing list and return the appropriate Holton permission form (online) and the InnerQuest waiver (print out and turn in to Ms. McMillen in the Middle School office).  Both forms are due to the MS Office by Friday, September 13.  Please note: on the InnerQuest waiver, you do not need to attach a copy of a physical exam.  (We will attach a copy of the exam report that you have already provided to the school, so there is no need to return to the doctor.)

On Wednesday, October 2, the girls should arrive at 6:30 a.m. to school dressed casually with all of their gear; we will leave promptly at 6:45 a.m. after a brief assembly.  On Friday, October 4, we will return to Holton at approximately 3:30 p.m. When working with your daughter to pack her gear, please look carefully at the clothing and equipment list.  It is important that your daughter has warm clothing and it is best to avoid packing cotton. Please have her bring items that can get dirty. It is also important that girls not bring electronics.  Not only is there no way for us to ensure the safety of those items, but it is impossible for the girls to tune into the mission of this trip when they are “plugged in.”

Because class unity is one of our primary goals, we expect every member of the class to participate. We understand that spending the night away from home can sometimes make students (and parents?) a bit nervous. Therefore, if you have any questions regarding this trip, or if your daughter has special needs that we should know about, please contact trip leader Carrie Braun,  me, or call the Middle School office at 301.365.6018.