On August 28, members of Delbarton Class of 2024 embarked on their first off-campus adventure together, a day of challenges at YMCA Camp Bernie way out west in Port Murray, NJ. Boys and chaperones, all masked and led by Freshman Class Moderator Matt Kovachik, boarded six air-conditioned buses – twice the usual number to ensure social distancing -- that delivered them to Camp Bernie for a team-building day of adventure. The late August day was sunny and hot, classic boot camp weather!
The Delbarton freshmen spent the next 4-5 hours navigating through nine stations including some that were physically challenging and others that were more cerebral and problem-solving. All physical tasks like the climbing tower and 'vertical playpen' were accomplished with boys strapped into harnesses with their brothers down below serving as belay teams. Cell phones were stowed on the bus and, as far as we know, not one boy had an allergic reaction to no technology. No screens, no problem for these gents.
Camp Bernie's motto is Challenge by Choice, and many boys chose to tackle daunting tasks like scaling the climbing tower, vertical playground and other physical challenges (again, participation was mandatory but physical challenge was optional). Camp staff encouraged boys to set their own goals, then helped them get there.Other tasks required problem-solving skills and strategizing as a team. At noon, boys took a break to hydrate and enjoy lunch outdoors in the woodsy setting.
Chaperones included a gung-ho group of faculty members as well as Kovachik and teacher Tom Brady who took these photos to document the event. All agreed that the day was a great success, filled with memories of witnessing boys naturally helping each other at temporary impasses where strategy, tactical thinking and teamwork were necessary to proceed. Members of the Class of 2024 impressed adult chaperones with their sharp thinking and default-switch attitude of putting the other guy first.
Nice team work, men, and these lessons will certainly come in handy during your next four years at Delbarton!