Today’s blog post from Ocean Classroom serves as an account of the first half of a nearly two week transit from Charleston, South Carolina to St. Croix. Proctor’s crew of 21 students has arrived in St. Croix and we will soon post the remainder of their Ship’s Logs and more photos/video, but for now, enjoy this window into life at sea.
Ten weeks ago, preseason athletes were arriving for Sports Camp. Temperatures flirted with 80 degrees and the hopes and dreams of a season lay in the hearts and minds of Proctor’s athletic teams. Over the past two and a half months, students and coaches have worked together to form powerful relationships, goals were set and pursued, individual skill improved, and the bonds of team forged.
Usually the assembly before Holderness Day serves as a pep rally. Loud cheering and chanting, building school spirit as we prepare to make the drive north and conquer our foes. But Friday’s assembly was not that. It was far more powerful, far better preparation for what Holderness Day is really about: being vulnerable, supporting each other regardless of outcome, and daring greatly.
“Voice can take a long time to come all the way out, brother.” Bobby said. “Be patient.” These words jumped off the page of Tommy Orange’s There There as John Around Him discussed the book with Proctor’s American Literature students. This notion of voice, of who has the courage (and privilege) to share their voice, and who will listen when they finally do, cuts through an American Literature curriculum to the core of how we empower students to live lives that matter.
Each season we split into our teams and afternoon activities. We work hard to cultivate a culture within that group. We often sit with our teams in the dining hall for meals, share laughs through our group chats, and spend more hours with this group of individuals than any other. For the past eleven weeks, we have operated in our own sphere, cognizant of that which orbits around us, but largely focused on our team.
The steady stream of prospective families through our Admissions Office over the past month resulted in a 20% increase in October tours over our five year average. While a far-too-early indicator of enrollment numbers for the 2020-2021 school year, it is a data point. There’s something intriguing about this random school plopped on 2,500 acres in the Blackwater River valley between Ragged Mountain and Mount Kearsarge. So what is it? Why are families interested in Proctor when all of the data shared by the Enrollment Management Association (EMA) and TABS on independent boarding school enrollment trend the opposite direction?
The Proctor football program has a long and storied history of success, including three undefeated seasons in the last decade. With expectations high once again for the 2019 campaign, the team is holding true to the winning tradition of Proctor football well known throughout New England as the team boasts a 5-1 record heading into the final two games of the regular season.