Human connection requires two parties to willingly step into relationship with one another. Nature, however, is always waiting with open arms. As we consider how we might better walk alongside each other as humans, we must spend time in nature to refocus and reframe how we live. Today, as a community, we stepped into nature’s embrace by celebrating Earth Day 2022.
To be different, to feel different, is one of the most uncomfortable feelings we experience. We have all had that moment where we gave the wrong answer, wore the wrong outfit, had the wrong haircut, or publicly failed in front of someone else. That sinking, punch to the gut feeling of being noticed because we are different doesn’t go away easily, however, for most it fades over time. Those moments of being highlighted for our differences are fleeting, interspersed with a normalcy of fitting in alongside our friends. Unfortunately, society does a terrific job defining ‘normal’ for us, and it is up to us to constantly recenter ourselves around what we share with others, rather than our differences.
The group of seven students and three leaders of the Guatemala summer service trip returned on Monday, after spending 14 days learning, working, and exploring in the southwestern part of the recently volcano-rocked country, staying with host families and completing service projects at two different sites.
The quiet, generous help of PAPA (Proctor Academy Parent Association) is everywhere at Proctor when I reflect on the fall term. Winding all the way back to the start of school, even before the start of school, parent volunteers have continuously stepped forward to make a difference. Day Student Picnic. Registration. Open House. Adopt a Team. Adopt a Dorm. Fall Family Weekend. And the most recent example? You only had to pass through the Wise to witness Halloween dance decorations - a term which loosely does justice to the shrieking bats, giants skulls with red eyes, and the drifting, life-sized ghosts - to appreciate their commitment to the community.
When I told friends my plans to spend four weeks in South Dakota this summer, I had more than a few people tell me I was crazy, but it was an amazing month thanks to the fantastic group of eleven students who ventured alongside Tim Miner P'10 and me to spend ten days living and working at the Rosebud Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. With daily temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, this group cheerfully responded to constant reminders about sunscreen and hydration while working incredibly hard in the heat, sun and wind without a single complaint. They pushed themselves and were proud of the work they accomplished at the Sinte Gleska Ranch for Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi Program, Tree of Life Organization and at Marlies White Hat's house. This group acted like a sponge, soaking up all that they could during their visit; meeting new people and exploring the Lakota culture with an open mind and a positive attitude. I was proud to be part of their group. The student reflections below provide a window into their varied experiences as a part of Proctor's Summer Service Trip to South Dakota, but I encourage you to seek these students out in person to see first hand the transformation that has taken place. You won't be disappointed.
Our group of twelve rising sophomores and three faculty members just returned from Proctor’s two-week summer service trip to Guatemala. It was amazing to watch this wily, rambunctious group of 9th graders make the transition to more mature, worldly, and poised 10th graders over the past two weeks. We are excited to see these students bring their expanded worldviews and new perspectives to campus in the fall. As they share their experiences with other student groups and dive deeper into their time at Proctor, we know this trip to Guatemala will serve as an invaluable foundation as they embark on Proctor's term-long off-campus programs in the future!
A group of twelve Proctor students and three faculty members are entering their second week in Guatemala on one of Proctor’s Summer Service trips having spent the past seven days working alongside staff of Lemonade International. This trip marks the fifth year Proctor students have traveled to La Limonada, one of the poorest slums in Central America, to serve alongside some of the most gracious, joyful individuals on the planet. Faculty leaders Chris Bartlett ‘86 and Kayla Wagner have shared reflections from the first week on THIS blog, and we encourage you to check them out.