Beaver Brook transforms sixies into the Class of 2017

On September 9th, 43 sixies boarded a charter bus to Hollis, N.H. Two days of downpours threatened to continue over the weekend, but the clouds parted and the sun shone down on the Class of 2017. The camping excursion to Beaver Brook in southern New Hampshire is an annual destination for each new sixie class.

Darian Reid-Sturgis ’05, Classics master, was one of several RL faculty on the trip: "The classic elements of Beaver Brook were present: An orienteering course, counting games, the viewing of 12 Angry Men, the learning of the Founder’s Song around a campfire, and the burning of marshmallows in an attempt to make s’mores." Darian laments that back in 1999 the arrival of a tropical storm robbed his sixie class of their Beaver Brook trip. "We were forced to stay at School in what will always be referred to as 'Budget Brook.'"

But this year’s rookies took full advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the wooded outdoors while getting to know each other through team-building exercises. Darian reports that they "displayed potent math skills in Flip Flop, athletic prowess on the volleyball court, silent cooperation in the Numbers Game, and a keen sense of justice in their admiration of Juror #8 (12 Angry Men) for his willingness to stand up for what is right, even in the face of derision."

Matt Ruggirello, RL's new environmental science teacher, also accompanied the class on the trip. During the orienteering hike in the forest, he and a group of boys came upon a tree frequented by a North American Porcupine. "As the rest of the group looked at the quills left by the animal at the base of the tree," said Matt, "Tim McCarthy spotted a live one high up in the tree. In our excitement, we scared the animal off, but the boys were glad to have caught a glimpse of it."

John Spatola ’06, who works in the RL development office and coaches football and baseball, was also an adult recruit for the overnight, with distant memories of his own sixie camping experience. "While I don’t remember the transformation process as it happened over a decade ago, I do remember the general dynamic of my class being different after returning home. Regardless of class schedules and athletic preferences, we all knew each other on a personal level after just 24 hours," he said. "This year’s sixie class achieved that same continuity before my own eyes."

He added, "It may have been the group bonding activities, or perhaps it was the laughs shared over lunch, or the pre-bedtime silliness in the tents, but these boys left campus as 43 sixies and returned as the Roxbury Latin Class of 2017."

Darian echoed John's observation in his prediction: "If Beaver Brook is any indication, the Class of 2017 is a cohesive group of boys who are well rounded and have a bright future together."

See Beaver Brook photos here...

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