Waldorf High School has a tradition of learning through travel. One week in September and one week in May are designated "Trip Weeks", where all classes embark on weeklong overnight adventures or a series of full-day local excursions or workshops. These trips provide deep immersion into curriculum content as well as intense community-building experiences. Students often find the class trips to be the highlight of their years at WHS.
Here is a sampling of class trips taken in recent years.
Community Service and Team Building at Camp Hi-Rock
The 9th and 10th Grades go to YMCA Camp Hi-Rock in a beautiful rustic setting in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. They participate in a variety of team-building activities as well as community service. Some of the community service projects have included staining one of the buildings at the Camp, gardening, clearing trails and reseeding a playing field. The trip offers an opportunity for 10th graders to welcome new members of their class and the 9th grade class to our school community.
Waldorf HS students work together to clear a trail
The Novel Trip to Nantucket
The Novel main lesson block, featuring a study of Moby Dick, includes a curriculum trip to Nantucket, the site of the beginning of Melville’s tale and a center of American and global whaling.
The students' time on the island was spent biking, visiting the Nantucket Whaling Museum, sketching and cooking. One of the highlights is biking across the island to beautiful Sconset Beach where they often observe seals sunning themselves on the beach.
Navigation Trip to Pawtuckaway State Park
In the Navigation main lesson block, students camp at Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire and learn to find their way through the wilderness with a map and compass on orienteering courses over both land and water. They also create field notebooks with built-in traditional navigational instruments and learn to measure latitude and longitude from the position of the sun and stars. Other trip highlights include exploring glacial boulder fields, relaxing at the beach, stargazing, and observing nocturnal wildlife on night hikes.
Learning to navigate by the sun
Hamlet Trip to Shakespeare & Co.
The Hamlet main lesson block goes on a curriculum trip to the Berkshires where they attend a play presented by Shakespeare and Co. in Lenox and also work with the professional actors on performing Shakespeare and engage in a variety of workshops on theater arts.
This trip also includes explorations of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown and MassMOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in North Adams.
Exploring costume possibilities
Botany Trip to the Berkshires
The Botany main lesson class travels to Camp Hi-Rock in the Berkshires. On nature hikes, they find native wildflowers and other local flora. They also engage in team building activities in low and high ropes courses, and a climbing wall. Fresh air, spectacular scenery, and time for contemplation complemented the botany investigations.
Zoology Trip to Hermit Island, Maine
Observing marine life on the coast of Maine
As part of the Zoology and Evolution main lesson block, the 12th grade travels to Hermit Island, Maine to join up with about 100 high school seniors from Waldorf schools across New England for an immersive exploration of marine biology and zoology. They study invertebrate sea life through direct observation and lecture/workshops. Each morning, two different Waldorf teachers team up to present a two-hour lesson on a specific type of animal to the entire group of students. Following that, students break into smaller groups for hands-on workshops including hunting for creatures in the tide pools, investigating beach and dune ecology, observing organisms close-up in microscope lab, painting watercolor landscapes, and writing sea-inspired poetry on the beach. In addition to their own campsite meals, evenings include singing around the campfire, an evening with local authors, a contra dance, and a communal campfire on the beach.