The Beaver Brook Tradition Continues for RL’s Youngest Students
On September 6, 43 new Sixies—along with intrepid Class I leaders and faculty chaperones—trekked to Beaver Brook in Hollis, New Hampshire, for a tradition that dates back more than 50 years. Upon arriving, Class VI boys were immediately met with their first challenge: a test of their knowledge of “the oldest school in continuous existence in North America.” Charged with successfully separating Roxbury Latin fact from fiction and producing the most correct answers in the questionnaire, Sixies face an uphill battle: Those well-versed seniors and teachers may purposefully throw them off track with bogus answers, allowing for the single time all year when our watchwords “honesty is expected in all dealings” goes out the window.
The day, organized by Class VI Master Hunter White, continued with team building activities (a low ropes course; the famously frustrating helium hula hoop game; an orienteering challenge that required a crash course in terrain maps and compasses). After dinner, Sixies gathered in the barn for the annual viewing of the 1957 film Twelve Angry Men, with small group discussions to follow; these were animated but decidedly more civil than the ones depicted on screen. The evening ended around the fire, where Mr. Opdycke taught new boys The Founder’s Song before it was time for s’mores. Bracing for the remnants of Hurricane Dorian, the group opted for a camp-in—under the protection of the barn roof—rather than a camp-out. No rain dampened spirits on this Class VI retreat, however.
The following morning, after breakfast, each Sixie addressed a letter to himself, to be opened at his senior retreat five years from now. As they closed their notebooks, packed up their gear, and boarded the bus home, the Class of 2025 joined a brotherhood of RL men and boys who have sat around the campfire at Beaver Brook, singing about Roundheads and eating s’mores. It is a brotherhood that spans generations.