Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

    Peers Weekend 2011

    On November 19, Pascack Hills’ Peer Leaders set out for a weekend focused on team building.

    The weekend began bright and early Saturday morning as the peers boarded the bus with tired eyes at 6 a.m. sharp.

    Just two hours later, the buses pulled up to Camp Mason, a YMCA camp located in central New Jersey.

    After getting acquainted in their cabins, the students split into three groups and the outdoor adventures began. Each group consisted of 15-20 students and two teachers.

    Team A, or Team “Shenry”, was led by Mr. Henry and Mrs. Shepard and took on the high ropes first.

    The high ropes featured an obstacle course 40 feet above the ground and a zip line to finish it off.

    For many, conquering the high ropes meant mustering up every ounce of courage they had and more importantly, depending on the encouragement and support from their teammates below.

    Team B, or team “Ganucci”, was under the supervision of Ms. Garruto and Mr. Vannucci.

    Their first adventure was the low ropes, which focused predominantly on teamwork and communication.

    Activities included simple name games and more complex tasks such as getting all team members over a ten-foot wall.

    Mrs. Schwartzman and Mr. Tortugal led Team C.

    Team Schwartugal began their weekend hoisting teammates up on the giant swing and encouraging each other to complete the vertical playpen.

    Neither were easy tasks, which forced team members to rely on one another for moral support.

    The groups then went to lunch and afterwards rotated to a new area.

    After three hours, the groups reconvened in the lodge where they were once again divided into groups, each consisting of 4 or 5 students.

    Each group randomly drew a slip of paper with the premise of a skit they were to design in about 45 minutes.

    The skits were to be funny and crazy, and the props available to the students were limited. Creativity was key!

    After dinner, the Peers sat around the cozy lodge watching their friends put on silly, sometimes embarrassing, skits.

    Everyone was laughing- especially when the teachers put on a skit of their own!

    Though it felt like time to go to bed, the night was still young and the Peers were introduced to yet another activity.

    This time, Peers were randomly assigned a partner- usually someone they did not know very well.

    The pairs were given lists of questions to discuss and were asked to come up with a “stress-relieving activity” as high school students are so often faced with tremendous amounts of stress.

    The one-on-one activity provided a great opportunity to get to know someone new and, as seemed to be a trend throughout the weekend, step out of one’s own comfort zone.

    The long, tiring day concluded with a campfire—s’mores and singing included. The seniors then reported to the lodge for a special activity designed just for them.

    Sunday morning came quickly, and the Peers headed to breakfast.

    After the meal, the Peers got back into their groups. Each group completed the final activity that they had not yet done the day before.

    Around 1 pm, the Peers packed their bags and loaded the buses.

    Though the Peers were tired, and some even a little sore from all the climbing, there was no doubt that each peer left Camp Mason feeling more confident in themselves and in their fellow Peers.

    The busy weekend was a unique experience for all and proved effective in teaching Peer Leaders the value of communication, teamwork, and support.

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