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Grade 8 Embraces the Chewonki Challenge

To start the school year, Grade 8 students traveled up into Maine's cooler weather. Almost three hours north, Camp Chewonki is a staple of the Grade 8 experience at Nashoba Brooks, and after a hiatus last year, students and teachers alike were happy to return. For years, Camp Chewonki has provided a place for the leaders of the student-body, the new Grade 8 class, to come together, bond, and think about the year ahead of them.
After a bus ride of excited catching up, students disembarked busses and were immediately set to work by a group of experienced outdoor educators. It was clear from the start, that this was going to be a hands on trip, when Hailey, one of Chewonki's leaders, explained that students and teachers alike would be packing in all the tents, food, water, and supplies needed for the next four days. And the distance to the campsite? A mile and a half. 

There were always reasons to turn back. Some were made obvious by the sound of labored breathing or the swat of a mosquito. Students walked in lines, carrying long poles with kitchen equipment, water, and food adorning their lengths. The poles needed to be held up by two, four, or even six pairs of hands. This was certainly not easy.    

Some reasons for turning back were harder to see. Just underneath intermittent laughter and nervous energy were questions about the storm coming the following day, the lack of a bathroom or shower, and really, just a general fear of being away from home. 

But, there were no complaints, just encouragement. "Do you all need any help?" Zoe asked, as she carried a heavy three person tent with both arms. Angelina turned to her, and smiled; "We're ok! Do you need help?" They laughed, both realizing the absurdity of their offers. As they walked, it was clear to see that what carried them forward was a communal trust—a faith moulded from last year's close and personal community building—a silver lining of the cohort model. The class fell into step knowing that they were ready to weather any storm, literal or not. As the Nashoba Brooks School's class of 2022 walked a mile and a half, carrying heavy gear, drowning out the hardship with songs and laughter— their teachers observed with wonder. And it was made all the sweeter by the knowledge that this all came naturally to them. 

The days that followed did include a storm, but after the clouds broke, there was a high ropes challenge, a water quality study, basil picking, and cooking over an open fire. In the morning and evening, students were broken into teams with different campground responsibilities. Some gathered and chopped wood while others prepared food, retrieved water, and cleaned dishes. 

The newest leaders of Nashoba Brooks met these challenges with excitement and poise: "I loved chopping wood and preparing the fire," said Abby as she helped fold her tent on the last day of the adventure. After stuffing the tent into its bag, she finished her thought: "You know, jobs are always better when you know that what you're doing is helpful for everyone."
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More News

List of 20 news stories.

  • 2022 Concord Bookshop Day: A Smashing Success

    This year’s Concord Bookshop Day was one for the records!
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  • Students Consider Many High School Choices

    After almost a year of research, school visits, interviews, self-reflection, and essay writing, the Grade 8 class is enjoying a variety of excellent high schools to choose from.
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  • Students Recognized by National Latin Exam

    Every year, thousands of Latin students across the United States and the world take the National Latin Exam (NLE).
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  • Award Winning Authors Speak with Students

    Alongside the book fair and poetry month, April has been a wonderful time for literature at Nashoba Brooks School. Sharon Draper and Jen Campbell, two celebrated authors, left their mark on the community over the past few weeks.
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  • Parents Rave in Annual Survey

    More than 75 parents responded to this year’s annual School survey and numbers were well balanced across all grade levels. The results of the survey are impressive and the feedback the parents offer to the School is glowing.
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  • Nashoba Brooks Poets Published

    As Black History Month comes to a close, students and faculty alike celebrate diversity, acknowledging that a school is not only classrooms, gymnasiums, and fields, but also the people within these walls. Each  year and at every grade level our students contemplate the presence and importance of different backgrounds, experiences and beliefs. And this month provides community members with an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Black in America.
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  • Nashoba Brooks Prioritizes Affordability

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  • Grade 7 Students Help Local Turtles Thrive

    As part of a multi-school initiative to support endangered species, Grade 7 students foster two Blanding's turtles for the school year.
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  • Reflections from Artist Rachel Adams ‘01

    Rachel Adams graduated from Nashoba Brooks School in 2001. She went on to study at Lawrence Academy followed by Maine College of Art and Design. Now living in Portland as a successful artist, textile designer, entrepreneur, wife and mother of two, Rachel shares her journey from student to full time artist.
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  • Guiding Grade 8 Students Through the Secondary School Search

    Guida Mattison, Nashoba Brooks School's director of secondary school placement, wants to remove as much stress as possible from the high school application process that Grade 8 students go through each year.
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  • Grade 3 Meets Author Christine Day

    Recently, Ms. Gaffny and Ms. Keady's Grade 3 students had the exciting opportunity to meet Christine Day, the author of I Can Make This Promise.
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  • Digging into Identity

    Employees spent much of last week’s professional development day discussing identity—both personal and communal.
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  • A Loving Legacy

    On Saturday,  November 6, the School held an event to officially dedicate the Denault Library Courtyard, the most recent gift in the notable commitment of the Denault family to Nashoba Brooks School.
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  • Liz Joyce Accepted as a 2021-2022 Fellow by NCGS' Global Action Research Collaborative

    Nashoba Brooks' school counselor, Liz Joyce, was accepted as a 2021-2022 fellow by The National Coalition of Girls' Schools' Global Action Research Collaborative. NCGS is an advocacy group that helps connect schools and organizations that educate and empower girls.
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  • Dedicated to Discovery

    On Wednesday, October 20, the School held a dedication event to officially name the Sureau Family Discovery Barn. While the pandemic limited the size of the event, the community looks forward to a larger spring celebration of this compelling new addition to our campus facilities.
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  • Students Celebrate Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

    This year our students celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by investigating a myriad of Hispanic and Latinx scholars, writers, and activists. In the first half of the month, students explored fifteen impactful individuals and events,  selected by the Inclusivity Leadership Team (ILT).
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  • Grade 8 Embraces the Chewonki Challenge

    To start the school year, Grade 8 students traveled up into Maine's cooler weather. Almost three hours north, Camp Chewonki is a staple of the Grade 8 experience at Nashoba Brooks, and after a hiatus last year, students and teachers alike were happy to return. For years, Camp Chewonki has provided a place for the leaders of the student-body, the new Grade 8 class, to come together, bond, and think about the year ahead of them.
    Read More
  • Middle School teacher presents at OER’s national conference

    In August, our Middle School Latin Teacher Maritere Mix was invited to present at the OER conference for Social Studies educators. The conference is run by the Open Educational Resources Project, “a coalition of educators and historians solely focused on boosting student engagement and achievement through transformational social studies programs.” The project is dedicated to providing teachers with high quality curriculum and engaging content to help bring history to life for students. Ms. Mix presented in the track focused on “arguments with evidence.” Her track talk considered ways teachers can help students connect more meaningfully with the past. 

    Ms. Mix explores how to structure activities that support student investigations of primary sources, and helps them to think critically about the past with empathy for the people who lived through it. Ms. Mix’s goal is to empower students to make informed claims and to enable them to relay captivating historical accounts. In addition to her track talk, Ms. Mix participated in a live panel discussion with Bob Bain from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Nate Otey, a fellow in Philosophy at Harvard. She says she found the live discussion “a great opportunity for us to delve deeper into our topic and address some of the questions from the more than 200 conference attendees.” This was Ms. Mix’s first time presenting in this forum and she admits to feeling outside of her comfort zone. Her risk taking is a great model for her students and she hopes for the opportunity to do it again in the future. You can view Ms. Mix’s track talk on the OER website.
  • Nashoba Brooks Notions: Penny Boat Challenge

    Are you ready for a design challenge? This week’s Nashoba Brooks Notion invites you to practice the iterative process of design thinking by participating in a STEAM building activity! The challenge is to build multiple versions of a tin foil boat and then test the buoyancy and strength of your boat by adding pennies progressively. Here is a document that explains the challenge and lists the necessary supplies. There is also an optional chart for recording your data and an optional set of reflection questions. We encourage you to work together with your family to build your boats. Good luck!
  • Nashoba Brooks Notions: Bubbles

    This week’s Nashoba Brooks Notion: bubbles! Kids of all ages enjoy bubbles. By clicking here you can learn how to make your own bubble mixtures, wands, and even a bubble snake like Mr. Bryant!
Archive
Situated on a beautiful 30-acre campus in historic Concord, Massachusetts, Nashoba Brooks School enrolls all genders in Preschool through Grade 3, and students identifying as girls in Grades 4 through 8. Nashoba Brooks is an independent school designed to build community, character, and confidence in its students.
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