I think I told you that Ella's new school is the result of a partnership between the NYC Department of Education and Outward Bound, an international non-profit that has been leading outdoor education programs for over 70 years. Their mission is to "change lives through challenge and discovery." To kick off the school year, the 6th grade class gets to go on one of these adventures for three days.
The camping trip includes a lot of difficult and exciting challenges such as ropes course. climbing and backpacking. If you look closely at the photo above...keep looking up...up in the trees...that's our little Ella hanging there. She said her team pulled her up with the ropes and then she had to unhook one of the ropes which then had her swinging through the air on the one rope that was left. It not only pushed her to test her own limits but it allowed her to have complete trust in her classmates. As you can see from the second photo, it was an emotional experience for her.
They also had tons of fun cooking together, hanging out by a campfire telling ghost stories, and getting to know each other. She came home with a bunch of new friends and memories for a lifetime.
Bonnie treated us all to a Yankees game which was super fun and Holden and his buddy Simon were thrilled to be able to stay up WAY past their bedtimes on a school night. Luckily, they're both homeschooled, so the morning bell is flexible...
Ella was excited to get home to be able to see Bonnie (aka: book lady, aka: bunny lady, aka: cuz Bonnie) and her friend Ken before they left. The six of us took a day trip upstate so that we could show them Woodstock and get them out of the city for a short while during their 5 day trip.
As you can see, it is officially fall now. It almost happens on a dime, right on the exact day of solstice. One week we're still wearing shorts and sunscreen, the next we've pulled our hats and scarves out of storage.
We didn't let them do too much work cleaning up the leaves before dragging them on a walk to Cooper Lake and then through the downtown area where they got their fill of tie dye and drum circles - a true Woodstock experience.
I'm not sure it felt much different from their native Sebastopol. though.