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The Odyssey Trip is a key component of the Montessori adolescent program academic and social experience.  The goal of the Odyssey Trip is to provide a rich educational experience for the students with a focus on learning and bonding.  The students focus on team-building, decision making, communication and cooperation skills, in a beautiful natural environment. These experiences provide the much-needed element of “bonding” as a community. The students live and work together for extended periods of time, which gives them the opportunity to forge strong working relationships with their peers.This year’s Odyssey trip got off to a slow start because we had to set up for the ducklings and chicks that were going to arrive while we were gone. We finally got on the road to The George Washington National Forest about 10 am. We arrived at the campsites around lunchtime. Ms. Janelle picked a campsite close to the bathroom and it smelled TERRIBLE! After we set up our camp we realized there was NO WAY we could stay there! So, we picked our tents and moved two slots down where the air was fresh and clean. While we were setting up our camp a cat appeared and lurked around our sight until Zoe fed it some pepperoni. Our new cat friend found us at our new site as well and just kept hanging around.

After lunch half of us went looking for the creek with Ms. Edel, while the rest continued to set up camp. We found a great swimming hole and we had swim races and contests.  The rest of the class joined us in the creek, and we had so much fun that afternoon. That night we made burgers and roasted marshmallows and s’mores over our campfire.

The next day some of us tried some fishing, and Ms. Lisa joined us in the morning. Some of us went on a 4-hour hike up the mountain with Ms. Janelle. We found a cool old cabin and a suspension bridge that led to a trail with historical markers about the days of the pig iron foundries in that area.

The cat who kept hanging around, became very friendly, but that is another story…

We had a great time and had a lot of fun!

-Janelle and Courtney

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