Taking advantage of lessons learned from the 6th Grade Mo Ranch trip, fall of 2015 marked the inaugural Class 9 Orientation trip. Based near beautiful Utopia, TX at Camp Lonehollow, 12th grade Orientation counselors lead new incoming freshman on this 3-day, 2-night trip. Students take part in various activities around camp and embark on a full-class kayak expedition down the nearby Frio River.
The trip is strategically placed just prior to the start of classes as we believe in the profound impact of working to establish personal relationships among students and teachers as they lay the foundation for academic success during their time in Upper School. In addition to the physical activities, students will have an opportunity to bond with their advisory, with whom they will spend the next four years, as well as engage in important conversations with 12th grade Orientation Counselors and faculty.
Forcing a break from preparation for school and fall sports, this "time-out" from the frantic back-to-school pace allows the nearly 70 new students to begin building friendships with each other and with classmates coming through the tunnel from our Georges Middle School. Orientation Counselors (all seniors) work hard to get to know the freshmen and to help share their expertise from their own Upper School experience. Student and faculty-led conversations about how to balance busy academic and extra-curricular activities with the need for relaxation and sleep play a critical role in helping prepare new 9th graders for the impending academic year.