The second Community Weekend of the school year offered students the opportunity to participate in a range of outdoor activities based on the theme, “Live Like Fred.” From a star lecture on the Quad, led by science teacher Steve Bailey P’09, and fire pits on the Glade to night hikes at the Steep Rock and Macricostas preserves, water activities at Beebe Boathouse, low ropes and camping at South Street Fields, students were able to spend time together outside in the spirit of founder Frederick Gunn.
“Community weekends are a way to bring the school together and in this moment, this year, we can’t bring the whole school together, “ explained Jim Balben, Director of Residential Life. "These activities are meant to serve as another way for boarding and day students to get to know each other, while still adhering to COVID protocols."
In September, Balben met with Becca Leclerc, Director of Outdoor Programming, to plan the first Community Weekend dedicated to outdoor programming, which they called Live Like Fred. “She came up with the name and we looked at what cohorts would naturally go together. Then we looked at what we could do safely,” Balben said.
The first Live Like Fred weekend was held October 2-3, just a few days prior to the annual All-School Walk. The senior girls watched the sunset and made s'mores over a fire outside the boathouse, while the senior boys camped in tents on a crisp fall evening at South Street Fields. Underclassmen tried out the low ropes course, gazed at the Harvest Moon from the turf field, went on night hikes and gathered around fire pits on campus. Balben said additional weekends are planned in the future, allowing all students to rotate through the various activities by cohort. “We have the blueprint, we just need to rotate the activities. Weather permitting, we will tweak it as Community Weekends continue. In the spring, we will definitely bring them back,” Balben said.