2018 9th Grade Orientation Adventure Photos and More

The 9th Grade Orientation Adventure 2018 was attended by over 200 Episcopal students, who are still having great conversations about every aspect of the trip. In the hallways I have heard counselors and campers talking together about the bugs, the bears, the food, and the whitewater rafting. Just as in past years, students on the trip learned interesting facts about plants, animals, and the environment; they did things that seemed a bit dangerous; and they tried things that they had never done before. Many of the new students have told me that they truly appreciated the opportunity to make friends right at the start of the school year, and they are now enjoying spending time with their new friends both in the classrooms and on social media. The students came back to school feeling genuinely appreciative that Episcopal provides educational opportunities like this trip. Without cell phones and iPads, the students were dependent upon each other, the counselors, the adults, and God to guide them and keep them safe. Students wrote thank you notes to faculty members who went on the trip expressing appreciation for every aspect of the trip, from the lack of electronics to the long five-mile hike. It seems as though they loved it all, and many are eagerly waiting for the day that they can be counselors on a future 9th Grade Orientation Adventure.

The programming unit at Smithgall Woods provided extraordinary learning opportunities. Our students developed skills in shooting an arrow, catching critters in a stream, building a fire, and tying a variety of knots. The water levels on the Chattooga River were well above the average levels for this time of the year, which made rafting so much fun. As always, the rafting guides made certain that our students had a great time. No matter whether the students were paddling in unison or not, they were smiling and determined each time their boats approached the big drops. They laughed and screamed. Students who went down the rapids backwards, got stuck on the rocks, or flipped out of the rafts counted themselves fortunate. For years to come, they have the best stories to tell!

Gold Team Photos    Maroon Team Photos

Determined and energetic faculty members took thousands of pictures on the trip, and the best photos are now posted on the school’s Flickr account in two groups. Students in buses one and two were on the Gold Team, and students in buses three and four were on the Maroon Team. In the upcoming weeks, students will be given some photos of themselves to take home. A video montage of the best 500 photos is being prepared. Students will watch it together during the school day in November, and then each student will be given a copy to bring home.

Students have viewed the lost and found items, which have been on display in a biology classroom. However, there are plenty of items left. Please encourage your child to take a second look before the items are donated. Also, please check to be certain that the bags that went home with your child are actually his or her belongings. There are missing items that have not been brought back to school.

Thank you for allowing your child to go on this incredible adventure with their classmates.

God’s blessings,

Marion Zeiner