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Sixth Graders Explore Nature in Frost Valley

Andrea Barnett

The sixth graders showed their sense of adventure and true grit on last week’s three-day trip to Frost Valley. Accompanied by chaperones Zoe Bongiovanni, Ryan Oliveira, Andrea Barnett and Jennifer Rose, the students arrived in Frost Valley, nestled in the Adirondack mountains near Claryville, NY, which had just received an unexpected nine inches of snow. And while the temperature was moving back up to the 50's the snow was still cold and wet, and so were the campers' feet! 

It was great to be back to this mainstay of the W+H sixth grade tradition. The students unpacked and made themselves comfortable in their beautiful lodge with four rooms and fortified themselves with pizza from the dining hall to prepare for the afternoon hikes to the cable bridges. The group survived a challenging hike in the wet snow and built some temporary shelters in the afternoon, but the wood was too wet to make a "survival" fire. After dinner, the students and chaperones were treated to a show by the "Birdman" who introduced his raptors: owls, vultures and falcons! 

A good night’s sleep prepared the group or a full day that included pond study, service in the garden, orienteering and a scavenger hunt. The students were. thrilled to catch the salamanders in the pond and slide down a hill in the snow. On Thursday evening the entire group visited "The Castle" to play a great game that required excellent communication skills to replicate The Beast. After hiking back in the dark, the group found the cabin warm with a fire in the cabin hearth. Students had found some long sticks earlier in the day which they used to roast some marshmallows and add them to chocolate and graham crackers. 

By the final morning of the trip, most of the snow had melted and the sun was warm. Students helped each other lift into the air as "Flying Squirrels or Flying Fish," which was a thrilling ending activity. After a delicious grilled cheese lunch, everyone boarded the bus back to New Jersey. Traffic was kind, and a first trip away for many was truly successful.