The Upper School canoe trip is an annual tradition that was started by the US Student Council in 1993.  This opportunity, allowing the faculty to take the entire high school on an adventure field trip at the beginning of the year, is unique to a small school.  At the Academy, we know it is important to expose students to new activities, and give students and faculty the chance to get to know each other at the start of the academic year.

This year, we broke from the previous tradition of canoeing down the Juniata River, and decided to stay closer to home and canoe the Susquehanna River from Fort Hunter to City Island.  As a faculty member, I enjoyed the substantially shorter bus ride!  It was also interesting to see the city from this new perspective.  Part-way through the trip, we stopped at an island to finish lunch and play in the river.  Many of us tried our hand at skipping rocks – but most importantly, it was refreshing to see kids acting like kids.

Dayna L. ’15, one of the ‘kids’ that went with us, gave me her perspective on the canoe trip.  “No school, no homework, and time with your friends.  What could be better?  This year was the same, without fail.  We drove over to Fort Hunter (with the added excitement of driving to many different entrances before finding the right one) and then headed out in the canoes.  No canoe trip would be complete without a good tipping.  As I might have predicted, it was Sam, Wesley, and David’s canoe.  Without a doubt it was Sam’s fault, though Wesley may have been the intended target.  David, unfortunately, picked the wrong canoe.  However, this was after lunch and there were no soggy sandwiches.  This was one of many tippings among friends, myself being one of them.  After hours of valiant paddling, we made it to the far shores of City Island, and lo and behold, there was ice cream waiting for us.  Our teachers may push us, but they always know the way to make us like them again!  Ice cream and no school, that’s the dream.”

What a great way to start the school year!