Blue Skies on 17 Summits: Mountain Day a Success [Slideshow]

Northwood students split into 19 groups and conquered 17 peaks in the Adirondack Mountains on Tuesday, September 22. Students and faculty were put into groups that climbed one of the forty-six Adirondack Peaks and were given a day off from classes to climb and explore their designated mountain.

One Group of students climbed their mountain carbon free – meaning that instead of getting to their mountain by bus, they traveled via canoe across Mirror Lake to Whiteface Mountain.  

This year was the 45th annual Mountain Day for Northwood School. Combined, the school walked approximately 1,500 miles (about half the width of the United States). Retired teacher and longtime Mountain Day organizer Don Mellor said, “the difficulty, frustration, and adversity the students go through together in order to reach the top of their designated mountain is what [Mountain Day] is all about.” He went on to add “The struggle is what truly brings students together, and it creates a special bond that can last a lifetime.”  

Looking back on this successful event, Mountain Day co-organizer and director of the Northwood Outing Club Bobby O’Connor said, “This event is important because it’s another opportunity for the students here to bond as a family.” O’Connor added, “Lots of character is developed when you suffer together as a group.” 

Mountain Day has been recognized as an annual school tradition for 45 years now, and many alumni look back on this tradition as one of their favorite memories at Northwood. When asked about the event, student Aidan Lasky ‘22 said “It was a little harder than I expected, but the view at the top of the mountain made it all worth it.”

Another student Camden Davis ‘22 described his experience saying, “It was my first time ever hiking a mountain. At times it felt like I wanted to give up – but my group and I pushed through and ended up having an exciting time.”  

Some photos from Mountain Day, provided by students and faculty:

 

The Return of Mountain Day

Northwood School’s location in the Adirondack Mountains make it such a fascinating destination for students around the world. With school life beginning to get back to normal, students and faculty will assemble next week for one of the school’s oldest traditions: Mountain Day.  

A summit photo from Mountain Day 2018 (Photo provided).

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancelation of Mountain Day in 2020, the first year without Mountain Day in over forty years. Now in 2021, the school is bringing back Mountain Day, which is causing a lot of excitement throughout the community.  

Nicholas Bennett ‘22 said, “I am really excited about Mountain Day because we didn’t have the chance to do it last year, due to unfortunate circumstances with COVID-19.” New student James Schneid ‘22 said “I am not too familiar with hiking mountains, but I am excited about the opportunity to see some amazing views over the Adirondacks.” 

On Mountain Day, all students and faculty are put into groups that climb a mountain, including many of the forty-six Adirondack High Peaks. Students and teachers are given a day off from classes to climb and explore their designated mountain. This year is going to be a special one since the return of Mountain Day marks restarting long held Northwood traditions that were paused during the pandemic and represents a return to something resembling normalcy at school.  

In preparation for what’s believed to be the 45th Mountain Day at Northwood, Mr. Bobby O’Connor, Director of Northwood Outing Club and Mountain Day organizer said “Mountain Day is important because it’s another opportunity for the students here to bond as a family. Lots of character is developed when you climb together as a group.” With regards to why the school gives an entire day off academics for this event, O’Connor said, “I think the reward over the sacrifice is well worth it: one day out of the school year to give students the opportunity to learn so many lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom.”

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