While the school year is now a month into its full swing, for seniors one of the official markings of the beginning of the year was the class trip to 4H Camp. This annual trip allows students to bond as a grade, think about the impact they would like to have in their final months of high school and work collaboratively with those in their advisories on activities such as “Capture the Flag,” making campfires, and other team building activities. This weekend experience also enables students to enjoy casual time with teachers and administrators, getting to know them and one another outside of the confines of the classroom.

The 4H Trip sets the tone for the senior year at Washington Latin, one that tends to be marked by intense emotional connection, friendship, collegiality, and cooperation.  Many of our seniors have worked together at our school for eight years, growing from new students to the “seasoned leaders.” As they take on this year’s challenges, including rigorous honors and AP classes and applying to colleges, we hope they will learn to rely on each other and the friendships they have built over their time here.

And it seems that they have. As students shared special moments with each other, as a group, last weekend, one remarked: “We’re really lucky to go to a school like Latin, and I don’t think we always acknowledge that.” Another said, “Our school has a soul, and it’s really beautiful.” Teachers, administrators and students agreed that the experience was moving and affirming.

The year for the seniors culminates in another overnight trip. In June, they travel to Camp Letts, on the Rhode River, south of Annapolis.  Once again, students will have the chance to work together in the outdoors, participating in games and boating and other fun activities. This event includes both graduating seniors and juniors. Besides offering opportunities for reflection, it is on this trip that the outgoing students “pass the torch” to the next generation of Latin leaders. We know that this bonding time for students helps them gain a better perspective on what it means to be part of our community. We hope that relationships nurtured, memories formed and lessons learned will last a lifetime.