As Head of School, I often say to the students that it would be far easier to lead a school without trips. They are complex, expensive, and require a great deal of effort. However, trips are essential to the identity of St. Stephen’s and have been from the school’s inception.
Trips allow mixing with students with whom they don’t usually interact. Leadership opportunities implicit in any trip, and trip leaders know how to encourage students to seize those moments. As adults, we know that trips engage other parts of ourselves — our imagination, our awe, the joy of discovery, our place in nature.
And trips force us to view the world anew, often from the vantage point of someone quite different from ourselves. We may learn or hone a new skill — scuba diving, or oration, or drawing the human figure. We’ve even had students choose their university major based on the experience of a school trip. Trips change the way we perceive the world, and therein lies their power.