There’s something about immersing yourself in nature that causes troubles to fall away. The songs of the birds, the smell of the flora, the magnitude of the stars…they get you into the rhythm of the earth. Nature allows us to rise to any challenge, and to reset our perspectives and our attitudes.
Just ask our 8th graders. As I write this, we are packing up to return from a 4-day retreat, the culmination of their 9 years as classmates (who seem more like siblings) and a long pandemic year.
Though they were grateful to learn in person this year, they endured the disappointment of a canceled Israel trip and pandemic stress. But the lessons have been transformative, for now they know they can rise to any challenge…including a few new (joyful!) challenges this week.
They have slept in tents, cooked their own food and hiked through the wilderness. The rewards have been great: a delicious Israeli dinner and pancakes for breakfast; a cascading waterfall at the end of a trail; spectacular birds-eye views from the tree tops. They have grappled with news from Israel, supporting and praying for Gilad (who anxiously receives news from home) and all who hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
They’ve also enjoyed stories around the campfire, t’fillah along a river, and a chance to solidify and even strengthen relationships that began so many years ago.
I look forward to the return of our overnight adventures at Mirowitz: our third-grade prairie overnight, our fourth-grade geology overnight, our fifth grade Machaneh Ivrit (Hebrew Camp) and our middle school social justice trips. At Mirowitz, we believe in the power of experiential learning. The world is our classroom, and adventure yields authentic learning. It is our intention that our students become adults who have lasting and meaningful memories associated with learning.