Bonding and socialization are important concepts to the maturation and development of adolescents. Country Day prides itself on a nurturing environment with mutual respect and friendship as central values. Overnight trips help with this process, bringing students and their teachers closer together through experiences outside the classroom. The trips complement the Middle School curriculum, especially in history and science.
Eighth grade students take a once-in-a-lifetime trip with their peers to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. exploring historical sites, monuments, museums and the Hill. Some included sites are Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Christ Church,and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. D.C. includes the Smithsonian, Arlington Cemetery, Mount Vernon, the National Archives, various memorials, the White House, and Capitol Hill.
Yosemite is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth, and our seventh grade students spend four glorious days exploring with the NatureBridge counselors. Activities include hiking, stewardship of the environment, and games at the upper elevations at Crane Flat. A one day trip to Glacier Point as well as time in the Yosemite Valley is included. English, history, math, science, physical education, art, music, and drama are incorporated into the program.
Naturalists at Large lead our sixth grade students at Redwood Glen in the Santa Cruz mountains. This unique camp is in a setting of Coast redwoods, bay laurel, ferns and native plants and animals. Students are grouped in cabins or dorms and eat their wholesome meals in a dining hall. Students learn how to minimally impact the environment, the variety of plants and animal communities, and the role people play in the ecosystem through group initiatives and games. On the last day of the trip, students enjoy a fun session of kayaking and water safety.
In addition to the week-long class trips, a variety of day trips and partial day trips are included in the curriculum. Students explore the Asian Art Museum and the Botanical Gardens in San Francisco. A Moroccan restaurant complements the study of the Middle East for history, while a tapas restaurant and a French restaurant complement students’ language studies. Digital photography explores lovely spots in our community and science classes explore the river ecosystems in the nearby American River.
A traditional feature of the Country Day program is the overnight trips taken by students and faculty as extensions of academic studies. Juniors and seniors head north to Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival and a visceral experience with the English language at its finest, with an optional whitewater raft trip as a capstone. Ninth graders spend four days on a San Francisco Bay Area excursion and tenth grade students head to the Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch for four days of horseback riding, frog racing, swimming, hiking, fishing, and a good ol’ western good time.