Will McDonough, Eighth Grade World Cultures Teacher & Dudley Chaperone
The annual trip to Camp Dudley provided this year’s 8th grade class with time to unify, connect with teachers and classmates outside the classroom, and display fortitude, resilience, leadership, and teamwork through a variety of outdoor activities.
Over the course of the four-day stay in the Adirondacks, 8th graders hiked mountains, spent time on both high and low ropes courses, and engaged in other activities that challenged the body and mind while fostering an environment that encouraged a collective culture of trust and reflection.
One of the most meaningful activities was the night walk, an experience during which students learned how to trust their senses and surroundings as light faded and the darkness of evening arrived. Two keys to successful completion were (a) slowing down and (b) listening to the world around them. While these were literal lessons in the woods, the metaphorical similarities to overcoming moments of struggle (i.e. darkness) in life did not go unnoticed. Morning talks by NCCS faculty members also served as highlights of the trip and reiterated topics relevant to adolescence: self-image, self-care, and pride.