By Nicole MacVane, assistant director at Longview
As part of the annual Adventure Based Counseling program a dozen Longview students and seven staff members participated in the first winter expedition in 10 years, in Jefferson, New Hampshire. Excited to ski and snowboard for two straight days starting on February 12, our team was thrown a quick winter curve ball on Wednesday as we discovered that our mountain of choice ran out of gear to outfit our group. Open to new ideas and prepared for the unexpected, all of our students handled this news gracefully as we shifted gears by heading to the Josselyn’s Log Cabins in Jefferson, checking in to our quarters and settling in. Once settled, we then gathered together and prepped meals which included spaghetti and meatballs and homemade pizza (yum) before taking off for a fun night of bowling. Some of our students who were first time bowlers quickly became experts, rolling strikes and spares by the end of the day.
As snow trickled down early on Thursday morning, we made our way to Cannon Mountain for a full day of skiing and snowboarding (the mountain was ready to welcome us with all the gear we could possibly need!). Some of our students were experiencing a ski resort as large as Cannon for the very first time. Thrilled to be outside and in the middle of the action, they pushed themselves in new ways by venturing out of comfort zones and overcoming fears of the unfamiliar. Triumphing, our students gained new bragging rights and were proud to yell from the mountain that they skied at one of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains on a perfect snowy winter day.
Excitement filled the air in the evening as we made our way back to our joyful cabin quarters. We came together and gathered as a group while students enthusiastically shared highlights from our little adventure up north. They talked about how much they enjoyed their time in the cabin playing board games and apples to apples while giggling with friends the night before. They also reminisced about their adventure heading up the Peabody Express chairlift and of course, cruising down the long runs together as a group!
Indeed, it was a good snowy time in Jefferson during the week of February 12.
Takeaways from Longview staff
Over the last 10 years Longview has been split into two teams for its Adventure Based Counseling days. One team participates in two expeditions in the fall and spring, while the other team completes day-long trips and team building activities. This was the first time in 10 years that both of our teams participated in the winter expedition. Like any new venture, some students were a bit hesitant about joining and giving up the familiar comforts of home, while others were eager to have a new experience and getaway!
Like our trip to Jefferson, our expeditions (whether up north or closer to home) occur to challenge our students to get out of their comfort zones and to try new things. More importantly they are meant to foster connections that help promote success throughout the school year as relationships are a key factor to overcoming behavioral and mental health issues.
By the end of our trip, we were delighted to hear that all 12 of our students were really thrilled to have participated in the Longview winter expedition in Jefferson, with some already asking about next year’s trip.