On Sept. 20, sophomores took the Leap of Faith, clambered up the Vertical Playpen and twisted their way through the Spider’s Web during the annual sophomore class trip to outdoor adventure sites in La Honda and Santa Cruz.
“The faculty and students were enjoying the activities, the nice weather and spending time with their advisory groups,” class dean Jeff Draper said.
Aimed to encourage leadership, communication and team bonding the trip allowed students to use teamwork to complete various obstacles. “I think the day incorporates teamwork activities as well as the high ropes piece where students take a risk and do something they thought they would never do before,” adviser and upper school counselor Chris Colletti said.
Students in his advisory, while apprehensive at first, gathered the courage to jump off a 70-foot diving board, deemed the Leap of Faith, and traversed a 20-foot wall later in the day. “They did it by helping one another over this barrier!” Colletti said. “What a great metaphor in life that you can do anything with help, support and good guidance.”
Throughout the day, classmates cheered each other on and offered encouraging words as their friends climbed nets and walls and fell from tall platforms. Students climbing the Ninja and Lunge were forced to walk a thin wire and lunge towards a dangling rope. “It required teamwork, handholding and communication,” student Lori Berenberg said.
Later in the day, a looming six-foot net stood before Berenberg and her advisory was given one challenge: everyone had to get through the web without touching the wires that made the net.
“It was probably my proudest moment of sophomore year so far,” Berenberg said. “As I was standing in the middle of a high-five circle with my amazing advisory, I was overwhelmed with joy and love for these supportive people.”
Alice Tsui found the entire trip an amazing experience. “I’d never done anything like it before, and I think just the thrill and possibility of falling made it so much better,” Tsui said.
Like Berenberg and Tsui, Cecilia Lang-Ree and Apurva Tandon felt that the physical and mental challenges of the day strengthened the bond within their advisories.
“We were practically entrusting our advisory and class with our physical safety,” Tandon said. “It was definitely nice just working together and building spirit. It gave us a chance to somewhat shift from the more competitive Harker mentality to a team one, which was pretty special.”