Annual seventh-grade Sharpe Reservation overnight trip replaced because ‘activities were dated’

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Annual seventh-grade Sharpe Reservation overnight trip replaced because ‘activities were dated’

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The Sharpe Reservation overnight trip, a annual autumn right of passage for Pelham Middle School seventh graders over the past decade, is no more.

The trip was cancelled as of this year, leaving mixed feelings among students as well as rumors as to why the trip was no more.

“The activities were dated and had not changed in many years,” said Kevin Miller, a PMS social studies teacher. The equipment was starting to become run down. With this mix of things, the students just weren’t having the same positive, fun experience they had in the past.

The Sharpe field trip lasted two days and involved activities such as rope courses and other team building activities. The purpose of the program was for peers to get to know each other. The seventh graders stayed overnight in cabins for one night at the private camp in Fishkill.

Instead of doing one big field trip, the school has scheduled two: One at the beginning of the school year and another at the end. The first was a mountain workshop focused on team building and getting to know classmates. As at Sharpe, students did many activities that required them to work together as a team.

The second trip, coming in the spring, will be at the Boundless Adventures ropes course. The goal for this excursion is to learn to trust each other more and to take risks. It will be at the end of the year, so the seventh graders will know each other better than they did on the first trip.

These field trips might not represent the final schedule for future seventh graders. This being the first year Sharpe is off the schedule, there is still finalizing that needs to be done. After the first trip, the school sent out a poll to the seventh graders to get their feedback on the trip so it can be improved.

“I think it’s okay they replaced (Sharpe) as long as the new field trips are fun,” said Kristen Anderson, a seventh grader at the middle school.

Madeline Simon, an eighth grader who went to Sharpe Reservation last year, said, “I enjoyed it. I could pick the people in my cabin, and I liked the experience. It got a little boring and cold, but it was boring for me because I am not a heights person, so I refrained from that.” She said the school shouldn’t have canceled the activity because it was one of the highlights of seventh grade.