Year starts with field trips

At Glenelg Country, expeditions help ease students back into studies

September 10, 2006|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,Sun reporter

Hannah Leone, a 14-year-old freshman at Glenelg Country School, was a little apprehensive about transferring to the school this year.

But after a three-day trip to the Western Maryland 4-H Education Center in Mountain Lake Park with her new classmates, the Lutherville resident was at ease and ready to begin.

High school students at Glenelg Country started their first day of school last week in an unusual way - they went on overnight field trips.

School officials and students say that the expeditions are beneficial and help everyone prepare for the new year.

"I practically knew no one," Leone said. "It was a time to meet people and create friendships. That was very good for the first day of school."

Lindsay Menton, 15, a sophomore from Ellicott City, enjoyed riding in a canoe during her expedition at Camp Thompson in Michaux State Forest in Carlisle, Pa. "After the summer, it is great to get back and not jump back into academics," Menton said. "It is good to have a chilled environment."

Ethan Franz, 16, a junior from Owings Mills, said the expedition helped him to cope with his father's death last year.

"I was able to move on with the help of friends and students at this school," he said. "It made me feel like I was at home."

This year, Franz appreciated the way his classmates welcomed a new student during the junior expedition, which included a trip to Echo Hill Outdoor School in Worton and a scavenger hunt in Annapolis.

"It made me feel really good that she was able to fit in really quickly," Franz said.

Trey Cassidy, head of the Upper School, said he notices a difference in the students - especially the newcomers - after the expedition.

"When the students get on the bus to leave for expeditions, it's easy to see which students are new to the school and don't know anyone," Cassidy said in a statement. "On the ride home, you can't tell anymore."

Jake Brody, 15, a junior from Laurel, is looking forward to his senior expedition.

"Everyone says it just keeps getting better," Brody said. This year's senior class went to Sheridan School Mountain Campus in Luray, Va. "Sophomore year was really great. This year was even better. Senior year is supposed to be even better."

Leone, the new kid on the block, said she immediately made friends during her expedition.

"I was behind someone in line, and we just started talking," she said. "It was an instant friendship."

Leone said she has continued to hang out with the friends that she made during the trip.

"I share a free period with two of them," she said. "It's good."

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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