Starting off school right with class retreats

The first Friday of school, September 6, students headed off on annual class trips. The freshmen spent an afternoon at a treetop adventure course, the sophomores clocked service hours and learned more about food insecurity while farming, the juniors embarked on a rafting adventure, and the seniors spent a relaxing day at Kimball Farms, playing mini-golf and enjoying ice cream.

The freshman class took off to Boundless Adventures in Berlin, MA, for class bonding. The treetop course featured several levels of difficulty, allowing students to choose their desired intensity while navigating the obstacles. Sophia Sahni ’23 and Soph Bililies ’23 had a great time, and even ventured to the hardest levels, completing them all. Sophia said that she “met a lot of new people, which was was pretty nice. Because it was hard for most people, so everyone was trying to help each other to get through.” They agreed that this would be a retreat that they would recommend to future classes.

The sophomores spent the day at Sharing the Harvest Community Farm in Dartmouth, MA, helping out with weeding, hoeing, and farming. Community service, and specifically food insecurity, is a focus of sophomore year. Ms. Angela Macedo, the Director of Community Service Programs, said that this trip allows the students to understand “how hard it is to harvest food” and “appreciate the plentifuness [of food] at Dana.” She got the sense that students “understood the importance” of the work they did and that they left feeling as though they had done something ”worthwhile.” Arianne Randall ’22 said it was “overall a good learning experience” and fun to spend time with her friends.

The junior class departed Dana Hall early in the morning for their excursion to Moxie River Rafting in Charlesmont, MA. Though the bus ride was a long, they got there ready to conquer the river. A few girls in the grade who opted out of rafting had a relaxing day at a butterfly garden and Yankee Candle. Everything went smoothly, until, towards the end of the river, a raft flipped after hitting a rock. Halle Best ’21 was on this raft and found herself, with the other members of her boat, going on an involuntary swim in the freezing cold water. Though no one on the boat was seriously injured, Halle says that she would probably not choose to raft again, though she doesn’t “blame it on this experience.” However, she “wishes [she] had prepared herself for it.” Ms. Meghan Gayton, an 11th-grade class dean, says that the “fluke accident” won’t stop the trip from continuing, as it has been a long standing Dana Hall tradition. According to Ms. Gayton, the company handled the accident really well, and was able to relate to her and the other faculty members “exactly what happened.” Ms. Gayton herself had an amazing time on the trip and said “[she] loved it.” 

After a morning of preparing for traditions, the seniors had an afternoon close to home at Kimball Farms. They played golf and enjoyed ice cream and bumper boats. MK Egan ’23 said that “even though it was  raining at Kimball Farms, the class of 2020 still had an amazing time… it will be a retreat we will never forget!”

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