“I am confident that the education they have received will make them individuals who can and will take the time to think for themselves and inspire and lead others.”
Early on the chilly morning of February 27th, 2017, Waldorf students from classes 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th met in the school parking lot for the 2+ hour ride to Kingston, ME, central location for the non-profit organization, Maine Huts and Trails. “All aboard” with cross country skis, lots of warm gear and 6 adult chaperones/guides; parents Denice Tepe, Amy Rogers, Michael Baptista, and faculty/staff Bruce Cooper, Louis Bullard and Heather Burnell.
DAY ONE. 4 miles of skiing. The group headed off. It was largely uphill going and icy to boot. After a hard slog they finally arrived at the Stratton Brook Hut, a large, comfy retreat with a roaring stove around which the collective chowed down on chicken pot pie, Caesar salad, veggies and bread…let’s not to forget ample, yummy cupcakes for dessert. After dinner, Mr. Cooper regaled all with tales of King Arthur. Mr. Cooper reflects back a week later, “Our ski trip was a 3-day Arthurian Quest to discover the winter landscape of central Maine.” Charades ended the perfect day and then the tired skiers piled into their sleeping bags, drowsy and content from a day well spent.
DAY TWO. Ah, the challenging day two; 7 miles of skiing! It was bugle call at 7am, the smell of pancakes, eggs and bacon filled the hut while our young adventurers struggled into their gear and prepared themselves for what was to come. Apprehension turned into wonder as the first 4 miles presented an easy downhill under a sunny sky, between rolling hills, in the pristine northern Maine environment.
The remaining terrain was mixed and easy. They all finally arrived at their warm ‘n cozy hut in mid afternoon. Heather Burnell reflects, “It was a truly amazing feat to witness these students overcome a challenging terrain with smiles on their faces, and pride in their hearts, really priceless. This was the perfect situation to help guide these pre-teens into a more secure feeling of confidence.”
Spirited chess and monopoly jousts were followed by a casserole, sweet potatoes and cornbread. Then Mr. Bullard led the group in songs that reverberated through the cathedral ceilings. Take home memories included the passing of a massive icefall/waterfall earlier in the day, easily the most dramatic sighting on the trip so far.
DAY THREE. Once again reveille at 7am. Today’s skiing would take the group back to their cars at the end of the 3 day loop. The run included a super long downhill and a gathering rain storm as right of passage. All agreed that the trip was a “10.” Classroom activities resumed the following day but few students were yet mentally off their skis. Louis Bullard reflects, “In total, the students skied about 14.5 miles. For some, the challenge was only the distance, for others, it was their very first time on skis. It was great to bring the two classes together, grades 5 & 6 and 7 & 8. They had to work together to support each other.”
Our thanks go out to Maine Huts and Trails, whose generosity helped make this trip possible. The students are already planning another trip next year that will reach a hut that has an 11 mile ski day.