Reimagining the Green Cluster Overnight Trip

Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Laughter, fun, and bonding filled the afternoons of Green Cluster students last Thursday as they participated in a time-honored tradition — although it looked a little different this year. 

In years past, students in the Green Cluster went on an overnight trip to Pennsylvania— a trip that is highly anticipated. However, due to COVID-19, this year’s trip had to be cancelled.

Intermediate Division Director Michelle Fox said she wanted to find a way to help students, as well as teachers, remain connected and have a sense of the familiar during a time that is anything but.

“Our students, faculty, and community were experiencing a lack of normalcy and sense of loss, and that was really the genesis of the idea,” she said. 

After devising the general concept, Ms. Fox then talked to the Green Cluster teachers and specialists to make sure they were on board. Once she received their input, she created a form for students to fill out their preferences on bunkmates, preferred activities, and more. 

“We did our best to create bunks that were solely based on children’s social preferences,” Ms. Fox said.

Nine bunks were created using these preferences, and then the event was off and running. 

Following a loose schedule, students participated in a variety of activities, had lunch together, and then watched a movie or TV show to finish out the day.

In Bunk 7, Head Teacher Zoe Carril led students through a series of Buzzfeed quizzes as they relaxed with face masks, an overnight trip tradition.

Coach Daniel Pena dropped by Bunk 2 to perform a “52-pick up workout” with students and Head Teacher Sara Curwin, where they performed an exercise associated with each card in a deck of cards.

In Bunk 9, students played games with Technology Teacher Joel Levin and Assistant Teacher Leslie O’Toole, finishing out the day by watching a Star Wars movie. 

Excitement and joy could be seen on the numerous smiling faces throughout each bunk, and Ms. Fox said that was truly the goal of the entire day.

“The kids really benefited from this purely social event,” she said. “They just want to connect. A lot of them haven’t been able to see a lot of people during this time, so it was nice to see faces they hadn’t in a while and connect.” 

Student Calvin N. said he had a great time at the virtual non-overnight in Bunk 9, emailing Mr. Levin after to thank him for the fun games they played and for the “best time I’ve had in awhile.”

“I thought that the virtual overnight was extremely fun and that it was a great idea,” Calvin said. “I also thought that if the school were to resume in September over the internet, doing something like this for school events would be fun and engaging for the students.”