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Middle School Returns to Woodloch

The excitement was palpable on the morning of Thursday, September 15, as Middle School students hefted their suitcases and climbed aboard coach buses to depart for their highly anticipated overnight trip to Woodloch Pines. 

Every year, Middle School students, accompanied by their advisors, spend two days and one night at Woodloch Pines, in the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania. Located lakeside, there are activities everyone can enjoy, from boating to bonfires and everything in between. 

Although adventure is undoubtedly on the agenda, the purpose of the trip is to create bonds among the students and togetherness among the Middle School community. Faculty get to enjoy one another’s company after the summer, advisors get to know their advisees better, and students get to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

“I enjoyed bonding with my advisory group and getting to meet new classmates,” says seventh-grader Caroline Slattery. “Woodloch really helps us become more comfortable around one another.”

“My favorite parts about Woodloch were the group activities,” seventh-grader Gaby Robakidze says, “and that I always had a friend with me.”

Kate Weldon, who is in the eighth grade, reflected on being a mentor to the sixth- and seventh-graders: “When I went to Woodloch last year, as a seventh-grader, it was nice to look up to the eighth-graders as role models. This year, I was excited to be a mentor and role model to the younger students. It was really rewarding.”

Everyone had a ball. Students raced around the go-cart track and competed on bumper-boats on the lake before bravely conquering the adventure playground. In the evening, they rotated among four activities: an improvisation workshop, a juggling workshop, a drum circle, and a s’mores bonfire. 

Group challenges emphasized teamwork and collaboration. From Survivor– and Amazing Race–themed contests to competing in a Cake Wars bake-off, the Middle Schoolers had fun, fun, fun.

On Friday night, when the excursion was over, students left with new friends and memories that will last a lifetime. As the buses pulled away, eighth-graders waved goodbye to Woodloch for the final time and sixth- and seventh-graders began counting down the days until next year’s trip.