“Our San Domenico boarding students are loving the outdoors this year. Mary [Churchill] has taken them on three hikes so far and the numbers are growing each time she puts out an invitation. The students have woken up at 5:30 am twice to get on the trails and have hiked eight miles through Muir Woods," remarked our Athletics Director and Resident Faculty Mark Churchill. There was a time when Resident Faculty worked to disguise the word "hike" with such euphemisms as "a gentle nature walk" or we sometimes bribed those brave enough to venture out on the trails with trips to our local ice cream shop, Scoop, immediately following the activity. This year we are excited to have a community of avid hikers who actively embrace the term - and the activity! More students join each hike, with a total of twenty three on Thursday morning’s hike from campus to the top of Loma Alta, climbing a total of 4.48 miles/7.20 km in distance and 1,254 feet/382 meters in height. Resident Faculty Chad Sigler likes what he's seeing, "I love how the kids are rallying and getting up in the early morning to go on these incredible hikes. I appreciate seeing the participation, the energy, and the fun. The Churchill hikes are really awesome." The students were disappointed to miss a dramatic sunrise due to the fog, but still had a memorable time. As Filip E. described, "We went very early and it was super fun. It was too foggy to see the sunrise but it was still cool to see everyone surrounded by the mist, and we had a good time." Aarya C. agreed, "The first part was really steep and it was dark and challenging but then as we went on it became easier."
Other boarding students enjoyed their day off in other ways. Jimena D. went home to celebrate Mexican Independence Day with her family. "We had a barbecue. We ate traditional Mexican food, made homemade tamales together, as well as pozole and tacos."
Other students took advantage of the opportunity to get some rest. Nora S. was happy to get some much-needed relaxation, "I stayed in bed for about half the day and then we walked to the ruins and we saw some woodpeckers so we just watched them for a while." Andrej S. also spent part of the day catching up on sleep, "I got a lot of sleep. Sleep is very important." Consulting an app on his phone he added, "My average sleep has been six hours and 11 minutes, and today I got nine hours. I didn't do much today but sometimes it's important to just exist and that's what I did today." We support healthy sleep habits in the dorms and we are happy so many of our students were able to spend part of the day recharging.
We also offered some opportunities to get off campus. Manny L. and Jojo W. went to the movies with four other students, "We went to Fairfax to see "Free Guy". We were laughing so hard. I love the recliners at the theatre. It's so comfortable. Afterward we went to M&G's for food. It was really fun."
We ended the evening with Open Gym and Open Art Studio. Students enjoyed time together by the fire pit before heading off to bed. It was a fun and relaxing day all-around. Everyone seemed to gravitate toward whatever they needed for their mind, body, and spirit. Our cups are full and we still have the weekend ahead of us. This Saturday we have Coastal Cleanup, with Upper School Science Teacher Hilary Staples driving a van of Boarding students to the beach. We'll also have local Marin adventures and lots of on-campus fun to look forward to.
- Sonya Evans, Resident Faculty and Upper School English Teacher