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FIELD NOTES STUDENTS, STAFF, AND ALUMNAE SHARE WHAT STICKS WITH THEM ABOUT OUT WEEK. LAUREN EBATA CLASS OF 2018 When I look at my boots all scratched up, I see all the rocks I walked over. What will stick with me is all the ground I covered.

PALOMA PULIDO GONZALEZ CLASS OF 2021 I didn’t think I could but I made it to the top [of the clmbing wall]... You may not like it at the time, but at the end you realize, “Wow, that was really cool.”

LOUISE HUNECK SENIOR ART TEACHER YEARS AT OUTWEEK: 26 FAV ADVENTURE: THE TOUGHEST TRIPS IN THE WORST CONDITIONS WHAT’S IN MY PACK: MY TRUSTY SEABEE KNIFE

I have enjoyed every single experience, especially when I was challenged to the max. Why? Because those are the ones that stay with you. The girls learn so much about their capacity for resilience and discover how tough they actually are, both emotionally and physically. We have no other experience for the girls that provides such a rich growth opportunity. Every year I leave with an enduring memory that makes me smile or choke up with pride. I am always grateful to have shared the experience with them.

NICOLE FORMOSA GR. 4 TEACHER YEARS AT OUTWEEK: 2 | FAV ADVENTURE: KAYAK SLIDE | WHAT’S IN MY PACK: WARM SOCKS

What sticks out for me is that everyone—students and staff—takes risks that challenge their comfort zone. Everyone grows as individuals and as a group.

HARRY DUIMERING SY SCIENCE TEACHER YEARS AT OUTWEEK: 24 FAV ADVENTURE: ALPINE HIKES WHAT’S IN MY PACK: MY LITTLE TENT– MUCH WARMER THAN A DAMP TARP

The best trips occur when there is harmony within the group and everyone contributes to a positive atmosphere. Inevitably the participants encounter various challenges, but by supporting each other everyone grows stronger. Especially touching for me have been trips with Grade 12 groups where the participants feel emotional at the end of the week because they realize that this is the last of a rewarding series of outdoor activities they have enjoyed during their years at SMS.

XIMENA FRUTIS CLASS OF 2021 It’s about the friendships! I might never have gotten to know some of these girls, but now we hang out all the time.

ALICE BROWN CLASS OF 2017

LETONG LI CLASS OF 2017

I leave behind the pain. When I look back I’ll remember the determination and the views. I won’t look back and think, “My feet hurt.”

My perspective has changed. Before when I looked at the mountain it seemed so far away. Standing at the top, I didn’t feel superior; it just felt peaceful. I realized the mountain is not that big, and the challenge is not insurmountable.

GREGOR CAMPBELL RETIRED TEACHER YEARS AT OUTWEEK: 23 FAV ADVENTURE: BREWSTER—PORTAGES, HIKES, AND CANOEING THROUGH AREAS THAT LOOK LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF TOLKEIN’S MIDDLE EARTH. WHAT’S IN MY PACK: TRANSISTOR RADIO (RECEPTION IS CRYSTAL CLEAR AT NIGHT UP THERE)

Students and teachers are pulled together by outdoor activity. There is no better way to build respect and understanding among people. It really is a quintessential bonding experience for girls in the journey to becoming confident young women.

PAUL CHATTERTON SPL YEARS AT SPL: 12 FAV ADVENTURE: ROCK CLIMBING WHAT’S IN MY PACK: A LIGHT-AND-FAST WAY TO MAKE COFFEE

One of my favourite jobs is leading the safety talks for beginner rock climbers. By going step by step, even those who are hesitant have such a sense of accomplishment and pride at the end. It happens over and over. It’s not about having fear but how you manage it.

CAROLINE ERICKSON SY MATH TEACHER YEARS AT OUTWEEK: 2 FAV ADVENTURE: CLIMBING MOUNTAINS WHAT’S IN MY PACK: MY THERM-A-REST CHAIR FOR MY MIDDLE-AGED BACK

What sticks with me the most about this trip is how the right amount of challenge, along with the determination to help each other, empowers the students to do something that they would have never thought possible. Hiking is hard. It’s uncomfortable, gruelling, and at times monotonous. Some of this year’s advanced hike group found the physical part of the trip harder than they bargained for. If each of us had attempted it alone, we’d have given up, but together we made it through. What a joy it was to reach the peak and celebrate with these ladies. There were a lot of hugs, tears, and dancing, and in 15 years of teaching I have never been so proud.

SMS Spirit 17

Spirit Magazine | The Experiential Learning Issue | Winter 2017  

Spirit is a semiannual publication by St Margaret's School for girls. SMS provides empowering education for girls from Junior Kindergarten t...

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