On September 5th, the Class of 2021 headed up to Vermont for a couple days of games, bonding, and relaxation. We arrived in Vermont around 12 PM, and headed home 26 hours later. I was very excited when I heard we were going to Vermont because I love the mountains and the beautiful September weather. Maevis Fahey ‘21 said: “I’ve always really enjoyed visits to Vermont, but getting the chance to spend the night there with my classmates made it even better. The beauty of the stars and the mountains in the distance were definitely my favorite parts.”
After a three hour ride, our bus finally pulled into the driveway of our destination. We unloaded our sleeping bags and gear for the night and settled into the barn where we would be staying. Next, we went outside and hand-printed a Montrose flag with red paint and signed our names to it, so that we could hang it up in our homeroom at school. It turned out great, and will definitely be a fun addition to our junior M Blocks. For lunch, we had pizza from a local pizzeria and ate on the grass right outside the barn.We had a quiet reflection period lead by Ms Chiodini ‘14 and Ms Joyce ‘14, who helped us stop to think about why we came to Vermont in the first place and what kind of people we were surrounding ourselves with. I appreciated that the schedule included reflection time for us to be quiet with each other and think about our relationships as a class. Afterwards, we did some memorable class-bonding activities: we played “Psychiatrist” and “Birdie on a Perch,” and spent time making friendship bracelets while sitting outside in the pleasant weather. During the following hour of free time, we went on walks and just enjoyed each other’s company.
Believe it or not, most of the people in our class agreed that giving our phones up also made the trip better. It was a refreshing break from our normal lives full of technology and busy schedules. Lucy Stefani ‘21 said: “Vermont was beautiful. It was so nice to take a break from our phones and really appreciate nature.”
The evening brought more moments for us to have fun together and make lasting memories. A few students helped prepare delicious tacos for dinner, which we all enjoyed. We also had a dessert decorating challenge for Mythili Batchu ‘21, whose birthday was the same day. My personal favorite part of the whole experience was sitting around the campfire, singing and looking at the stars. Katherine Flynn ‘21 said: “I think the class really bonded together while sitting around the fire making s’mores, having casual conversations, singing along to the guitar, and having a really good time.” Appreciating nature with friends was a great way to form stronger connections. After the campfire, we all stood in a circle at a grassy field across the street and gazed silently at the awe-inspiring night sky. Everything felt so peaceful, and any worries seemed to slip away. We played manhunt, settled down, and went to sleep, excited for what the next day would bring.
The next morning, we woke up in the barn surrounded by each other and ready for another day of adventures. Let’s just say that Friday didn’t disappoint. We ate a delicious breakfast of muffins and bagels, then had another period of quiet reflection. We played more games and got free time to spend with each other. The last thing we did before lunch was go on a walk up a nearby hill, where we got an even more stunning view of the Vermont mountains. When we got back, we ate sandwiches for lunch and enjoyed our last moments of the Junior Journey.
We packed up, cleaned up after ourselves, and left around 2 PM. The Junior Journey was a trip I’ll never forget, and I would go back to do it again in a heartbeat. The trip strengthened old relationships and helped form new ones. The time away from reality felt amazing, and Vermont was the perfect place to spend a weekend with my class.