Sixth Grade Assateague/Chincoteague Trip
The fall Assateague/Chincoteague Trip helps our sixth graders create a sense of identity as a class. The shared experience forges new friendships among students matriculating from Park’s Lower School while welcoming students new to Park into the fold. By participating in all kinds of human interactions together — wake, eat, struggle, triumph, laugh, chat, play — students create new connections to each other, to their teachers, and to older student leaders, making lifelong memories along the way.
There is thoughtful programming in addition to the excursions for intentional group and individual activities to help that sense of community grow. Our counselor and Middle School Trips Coordinator have put together a cohesive series of programmed moments to start and finish each day thoughtfully. The minute we arrive, we start by circling up and checking in. Our afternoon programming continues with group games and activities designed to build trust and problem-solve and, of course, have fun together as a group.
Each morning we will gather together to ensure we’re starting the day with positive energy. Most students will then depart for an activity while one group of students will stay behind to prepare the next meal (facilitated by peer leaders and adult chaperones). Each evening, we will share in community building activities and discussions planned to aid in 1) processing the experience they are currently having, and 2) thinking about the Middle School experience they are beginning to have and what they want that to be.
We will gather as a group that understands what it feels like to support one another, which is critical at the start of Middle School. This trip, because students will share something memorable and enjoyable with every person in their entire class, makes it possible to leave behind assumptions or judgments. This trip removes obstacles and establishes their sense of themselves as a group:
- Evening interest activities to get to know people and share common interests or learn a new skill.
- Down time to go out for ice cream and talk with roommates and other friends and chaperones.
- Time for guided conversations in large and small groups to process the trip and how we will carry over what we learn into the re-entry back home and into the next three years.
Student-teacher relationships become rich and multi-dimensional on this trip. Students see our genuine interest in them as people. We share these experiences. They see us on bikes, covered in mud, early in the morning, etc. This trip is a huge part of us as teachers making a connection with your son or daughter. The teachers talked to you at Back-to-School night about the theme of “community” for the 6th Grade year, and we are forming a real one.