The forecast was threatening an inch of rain, but by the time of our actual morning of service, the day was merely overcast. Over 50 of our students, parents, and teachers descended on YMCA Camp Tricklin' Falls in East Kingston, NH to spend the morning raking/hauling leaves, painting murals, and constructing camp furniture. We then celebrated our whole year together with a cookout and got to play pick-up games, throw the frisbee around, and practice archery.
In a tradition going back over a decade, we gather every year in the fall to eat and have a barn dance together. We long ago outgrew the traditional "barn" we used to meet in at Camp Denison in Georgetown, but as you can see in some of these pictures, we fit perfectly in the Family Life Center at First Congregational Church. Many thanks to the families who brought food for the potluck, to Tony our great square dance caller, and all those who came out to make it a great evening!
Every year, we hold student orientations for middle school and high school on Monday and Tuesday evenings before classes start. We have a time for new students to get their questions answered, have dinner together, and then do ice breaker games, take a tour of our space, and enjoy s'mores and ice cream around fire pits. It's a great way to start the year!
Every year, we gather our teaching staff to debrief the last year and prepare for the coming one. And this year, we added to our normal rounds of meetings some good old physical labor — prepping classrooms, cleaning, etc., associated with continuing to get our new spaces ready here in Boxford. Thank you to all our tutors who care so much about making New Hope a welcoming place. We can't wait to see our students in a couple short weeks!