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A Senior's Last Climb
Posted 09/25/2015 07:00PM

By Kacey Hartner '13

Photo by Renee Perkins '16[ Video ] Another school year begins and another mighty mass of Lawrence Academy pupils moves (temporarily) to the top of Mount Monadnock.

Mountain Day at the local New Hampshire peak is one of LA’s oldest and most beloved traditions; a day that is more than just a day “in nature.” This past Monday, all of campus took a break from the classroom and made the trek (3,165 feet up).

“I was just taking it all in this year, especially coming down,” reflected Renee Perkins ‘16. “I always take it slowly going down, and I actually was alone for a few minutes this year, I told my friends to go on ahead.

“It was completely silent and really special.

“I was raised to appreciate nature, but there are kids here from cities and other states and from all over the world that have never been able to do something like this.”

And maybe that is what makes Mountain Day as special at it is; it’s an event the entire LA community does together. Every student and faculty member alike makes the trek. However, as an actual experience, it is very different for every individual.

For some, Mountain Day is experienced with friends. For some, it’s a day to meet new people. Others reconnect with an old teacher or get acquainted with a new coach.

“I was GoPro-ing this year, and it was cool because I kind of included everyone around me,” said Perkins. “I was constantly asking for people to say something to the camera.”

Beyond the vista at the top (or at various stops along the trail), the beauty of mountain day is that everyone climbs separately, but ends up together on top.

“Mountain Day sets you as equals,” was how the seasoned-senior put it. “Everywhere you look you see people laughing and we’re all doing the same thing so there’s a bond within…everyone is saying ‘this is so hard!’ but it’s still so fun.

“On my way down I ran into Mr. Wiercinski, who I have this year, and Mr. Margraf, who I’ve had in the past, and Coach Z [Football Head Coach Paul Zukauskas], too,” added Perkins. “I don’t usually get to talk to them anywhere outside of class, so it was nice to be able to do that.

“You get to know them better as people, and then you get to take that back to the classroom with you. You have a whole new understanding and respect for them.”

And for those that don’t climb – well, that's ok, too.

“Last year I had to stay at the bottom – I had an injury – but it still was fun,” said Renee. “I hung out with other kids that stayed back that I normally wouldn’t have hung out with and we did homework and just enjoyed being outside.”

The idea behind Mountain Day is rooted in the health of the community – both physically and conceptually. For who can look back on Mountain Day, or look forward to it, for that matter, without a certain twinge of fondness?

A school that climbs together stays together, and keeps on making memories at 3,165 feet.

 

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