Each week, or as often as we are able, we will share a Ship’s Log from Harvey Gamage capturing the essence of Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program. Each student will take a day to share a brief journal entry highlighting the excitement of living and learning at sea. Check out the first week of journal entries below as Ocean Classroom 2021 begins their voyage.
With a heavy heart, I share the sad news of the passing of Walter Wright '49. Throughout his lifetime, he remained committed to the growth and sustainability of Proctor. As a Proctor student, Walter was a school leader his senior year, played football, was on the student council and the improvement squad. He was also the recipient of the Shop Award and the Savage Leadership Award. Through my few conversations with Walter since I was appointed Head of School, he expressed a deep commitment to a culture of environmental sustainability that is now woven into the fabric of our community and perpetuated through the naming of the Walter Wright '49 Biomass Plant dedicated in his honor in 2009.
Each Proctor student graduates with a transcript filled with numbers and letters, a snapshot of their Proctor experience. While useful in some ways, this quick reference guide originally developed to standardize our assessment of a student’s “intelligence” for college admissions counselors insufficiently captures the entirety of a student’s growth journey through their high school years.
Shrouded in clouds and misty skies, the rigging of the Harvey Gamage framed the backdrop of Boston’s skyline to the west of Moakley Dock. Flapping aloft was a well worn Proctor flag, the same flag that flew above Gamage decades ago when it first hosted Proctor students. Each of the 28 send-offs for Ocean Classroom has been different, each special in its own way. While final hugs between the twenty-one students and their families could not happen due to COVID-19 protocols, the excitement and anticipation of the voyage ahead was evident.
After a year of hybrid classes, quarantines, mask etiquette, and fear of the novel situation of a global pandemic, we feel a little more settled entering this school year because our community has embraced the individual responsibilities required of addressing a global challenge. We have the same opportunity to teach individual responsibility as it relates to the pandemic of climate change and climate justice.
Proctor Academy is delighted to announce a shift in fall 2021 Ocean Classroom programming aboard the Harvey Gamage of Sailing Ships Maine. For the past 28 years, Proctor’s term-long Ocean Classroom program has exposed high school students to the joys and challenges of life at sea, with the World Ocean School and its schooner Roseway serving as a key partner in providing the Ocean Classroom experience for the past seven years. Due to an unexpected turn of events, Roseway is unable to host Proctor’s Ocean Classroom experience this fall. Proctor made a rapid shift to partner with Sailing Ships Maine and the Harvey Gamage for the fall trimester program.
Each Registration Day, you can feel the rollercoaster of emotion as families arrive on campus and their Proctor experience begins in earnest. The theoretical idea of having a child attend boarding school becomes reality, and while much of everyone’s energy centers around excitement for what lies ahead, we acknowledge there is just enough anxiety and sense of loss to make the emotions of the day challenging.
In many cultures, gatherings are sacred, like the garments worn at a celebratory event. It’s where people feel comfort, receive information, share messages, and pass on what is essential about why the group exists. At Proctor, we are a mix of people, groups, religions, races, creeds, and cultures. Often, we come together to share in the joy of each other’s gifts, whether in the classrooms, spaces of play, upon the stage, or because of common interest. We all share one essential thing, which is the love for our small village - our school - that knits us together on pristine land in the middle of New Hampshire.