A Class Without a Classroom Earns Credit in 48-Hours

Mr. Bobby O’Connor (left) with the students who took Northwood’s first 48-hour course (photo provided).

Northwood School now offers a unique educational experience that is unlike other classes in that it does not involve a classroom. The new 48-hour course was designed by Mr. Bobby O’Connor, the director of the Northwood Outing Club (NOC) in which students have an intense outdoor learning experience over two days. The idea came from Ms. Carmicheal and Bobby O’Connor. The course was made to expose more people to the outdoors and the Adirondack landscape that surrounds our school. Upon successfully completing the class, students receive a credit towards graduation and outstanding wilderness training.  

The basic structure of the course is that one weekend, on an early Saturday morning, a group of about 8 students backpack in the woods and set up camp for the night and hike the next day. The program is for anyone who wants to participate and so far, the school has run one 48-hour course and plans to run two more this year. Depending on the season. Here’s how the course is described in Northwood’s Course Catalog: 

The first trip that set out this year took place on October 15-16. The group hiked in through the South Meadow and camped at Marcy dam. The next morning, they set out and hiked Phelps Mountain, which is one of the Adirondack 46 high peaks with summits over 4,000 feet.  

The school and Mr. O’Connor also plan to offer a winter 48-hour course that will focus on back-country skiing and learning how to ski the slides. In the spring, O’Connor plans to bring a group of kids paddling/canoeing on the Saint Regis Lake.  

Lea Lambert ‘24 is a ski racer from Quebec who took the recent 48-hour course and had a super “great experience,” even though she says she “froze” at night. She said she had a lot of fun on the hike and the views were very beautiful.  

The following slide show contains images from the fall 2022 48-hour course. All photos are courtesy of NOC. 

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