Tradition is woven into the RA experience. Traditions are important here because they bring together individual students, faculty, staff and families into one vibrant community. Children learn how to be part of our school community and see themselves as valued members. A favored tradition of the Lower School is the Annual Lower School Campout.
The 13th Annual Lower School Campout took place on Friday evening, September 13, and was attended by over 100 people. The prediction of the Harvest Full Moon made the anticipation of this year’s campout especially charged. Students went excitedly through their school day until 5 pm when Lower School families ventured onto the lower field with tents and camping gear. Through a child’s eyes, the campout offers an experience that is simultaneously cozy and thrilling. It’s a chance to wonder under the night sky without the distraction of screens, sleep in a tent with their families, overnight at the school no less! It is also a time to try something out of the ordinary, which infuses the campout with a sense of vitality and happiness.
Setting up a tent is a family affair and many children, like first-grader Landon, and his sister, second-grader Gabby, helped their parents. This was Landon’s very first Lower School Campout. What did he look forward to the most? “I am most excited about sleeping at the school.” Older sister Gabby was most excited about “what the tent will look like on the inside!” For Grade 3 students like Lilah and Sophia, this will be their last campout before moving up to Grade 4. With many memories formed during Lower School Campouts, Lilah’s favorites are “roasting marshmallows by the fire” while Sophia enjoys “sleeping in tents and having fun with my friends.”
Third Grader Aidan is also a seasoned Lower School camper. His advice for first-timers is this: “If you feel comfortable, do the whole thing! If you don’t feel comfortable, just try to be happy!”
There were many happy faces, as after a BBQ dinner in Perry Commons, families gathered around the campfire to make s’mores and listen to not-so-scary stories performed by Director of Facilities & Security Larry Curry. After an evening of fun, families enjoyed breakfast together before departing on Saturday morning. The Annual Lower School Campout is a great way for families to connect with other LS families and get to know teachers outside of the classroom. For children, the tradition helps them create lasting memories while stimulating wonder and strengthening their sense of place within the RA community.
The Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool community celebrates childhood, pursues excellence, and cultivates kindness. Our educational program is intellectually inspiring, and we foster joyful learning with mutual respect in all that we do. We empower each student to rise to their authentic self, preparing confident graduates who shape their future with ingenuity and integrity