For those who live in New England, winter is a beautiful and serene time of the year with a variety of unique, seasonal outdoor activities. For Longview’s students and staff, it is a time for adventure, excitement and overcoming challenges. This group was prepared and bundled up for the cold temperatures February 8 through the 10 and ready to embark on an unforgettable Winter Expedition trip. Eleven students stayed overnight at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch while five students opted for day trips.
Winter Expedition is part of Longview commitment to Adventure Based Counseling (ABC), an integral part of the school’s program aimed at helping students work on group problem solving, cooperation, communication, trust, social skills and developing a better self-efficacy.
“ABC days are critical to Longview’s learning environment by enabling them to try new things and overcome challenges,” said Nicole MacVane, Longview director. “Students work on building connections with the educators and peers while having the chance to step outside their comfort zone with the support available to be successful.”
- The trip included hiking, cross country and downhill skiing and snowboarding. Some highlights include:
- Hiking Mount Jackson, ranking 38th on New Hampshire’s 4,000-footer list at 4,052-feet, and a feat that many humans will never accomplish.
- Cross-country skiing at Jackson Ski Touring Foundation in Jackson, N.H.
- Downhill skiing and snowboarding at Attitash Mountain in Bartlett, N.H.
- The art walk at Andres Institute of Art, a public sculpture park in Brookline, N.H.
- Cliff Walk, 1.2-mile out-and-back trail that leads from the York Harbor Beach in Maine, along the cliff side, over to Millbury Lane and features beautiful views of Maine’s southern coastline.
- Sunrise hike on Mount Willard, a 2,865-foot mountain in Crawford Notch. Students chose to wake up at 3 a.m. with headlamps to see the sunrise at the summit.
- The February trip enabled students to overcome challenges, celebrate accomplishments and build relationships that translated to the classroom and into everyday life.
“Our hope is that this experience helps them build resilience for difficult situations that may arise in their life and at school,” Nicole said. “When they come back to school and are having a hard time in English, math, social studies or any subject, we can remind them that they can do hard things. Like climbing a 4,000-foot Presidential Mountain. Even when they didn’t think they could make it to the top, they put one foot in front of the other and did it. The same holds true for school and other challenges in life.”
This shined true for students and they realized that they can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it. “Hiking Mount Jackson was a huge challenge physically and mentally,” said one of the students. “Through the support of my peers and teachers, I was able to get through it. This was a huge accomplishment for me and I had a ton of fun.”
Parents are seeing the positive effects at home also. “Our son had a blast and is certainly building his confidence, as well as his love for the outdoors,” said Jess S., mother of one of the students.
Longview provides seasonal ABC activities on an annual basis including winter, spring and fall. The 2022-2023 school year Fall Expedition included biking and surfing at Hermit Island in Fitchburg, Maine and the upcoming Spring Expedition will feature white water canoeing, backpacking and biking in New Hampshire.