Surf and Turf
Students venture to Maine and Vermont in experiential travel courses.
Atop the water tower at the summit of Bald Mountain, the third highest peak in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, students could see for miles. The silence and solitude they observed were similar to what their classmates were experiencing nearly two hundred miles east on Hurricane Island. The experiential travel courses— the final two offered this summer — had our students immersed in nature, learning about themselves and the land, before the school year began.
Ten students called a wilderness camp in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom home for a week in the inaugural offering of Rooted in Place. Led by English Teacher Katie Forrestal, they explored various wellbeing paradigms and contemplated how a relationship to place often elicits a wellspring of wellness. They hiked, biked, swam, camped, completed service projects, and stargazed in the remote landscape — reflecting on their adventures in a journal each night.
“Without a doubt, my favorite part of the trip was canoeing,” shared Mer Bergendahl ’23. “I loved being on the water and working together to keep the boat going. We ran into a lot of trees, but were able to turn around and keep going.”
Students got their feet wet on Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine. From one another and the sea, they learned about the smallest marine ecosystems and the implications of climate change. They designed and conducted experiments and completed a photo essay of their week-long adventure. “I enjoyed discussing solutions to confront climate change with everyone on the trip,” said Kalkidan Birhanu ’26. “I learned so much from their research and presentations.”
In addition to the Vermont and Maine trips, Pomfret offered study-abroad opportunities during the summer break. Students studied Spanish and Spanish culture in Salamanca, Spain, and French and art in Mussy-sur-Seine, France. Additionally, two of our yearlong courses offer travel opportunities during the Project:Pomfret period. Students in Global and Sustainable Development spend two weeks surveying jungles, beaches, and farms in Costa Rica. Our American Studies: Criminal Justice class has traveled to Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Students who take part in our experiential learning program gain valuable insight into different cultures, languages, and ways of seeing. More often than not, these lucky students return transformed by their experience and excited to share what they have learned with others.
See all of the summer travel photos.