WMS Summer 2012 Wrap-Up

Megan Sweeney
Director of Summer Programs Ben Mirkin reflects on an active White Mountain summer. Climbers, poets and runners all came together to make this one unforgettable summer.
by Ben Mirkin. Director of Summer Programs

We are winding down a wonderful summer on The White Mountain School campus. This year, we hosted two Adventure Treks trips, two weeks of our spectacular White Mountain Climbing Camp, two weeks of day camps, The Frost Place Poetry Festival, and a cross country running team from Maryland’s training camp. This all occurred while dorm renovations were being completed on campus. Right now, as the summer is coming to successful close, the building and grounds on campus look beautiful and our summer students have safely finished their adventures and gone home with a new sense of self and appreciation for this spectacular area.
The summer began with an Adventure Treks group using our pond-side campsite as their base camp and several of our WMS staff as outfitters for their multisport adventures. These groups had a fantastic time backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, rafting and summiting Mt. Washington. They also had a chance to check out our climbing gym and get a little taste of how wonderful high school could be. These folks bring a ton of great energy to campus!
Right after our first Adventure Treks trip began, we started our day camps. We ran one week of climbing day camp and one week of paddling day camp. The campers had a blast exploring amazing places that they never knew existed, right in their own backyards.
While the day camp and our Adventure Treks trip were ongoing, White Mountain Climbing Camp began. This really is the top climbing camp in the country! White Mountain Climbing Camp doubled in size this year, while still maintaining a 3 to 1 student to instructor (all instructors are certified by the American Mountain Guides Association) ratio. These instructors are the most amazing people to work with; talented and inspirational on the rock, fun and silly off the rock. In addition to some wonderful WMS faculty, we also had several returning instructors as well as this year’s Piolet d’Or winner, Freddie Wilkinson on staff. Freddie is a world-renowned professional climber and an incredibly fun guy. We attracted many of the top young climbers in the country as well as several people new to the sport. For those of you who do some climbing, we had a few kids leading sport routes up to 5.12 and mock leading trad climbs! We also had students guided up big routes on Cannon and Cathedral. Despite the huge differences in abilities, the groups all got along extremely well and had a fantastic time on and off the rocks!
The Frost Place Poetry Festival continues to grow. I heard participants continuously rave about how lovely our renovations are, the great food, and how beautiful this place is in the summer. They left here happy poets!
Our group of runners from Maryland loved exploring our on campus trails and raved about the beautiful and challenging hills in every direction. “It was worth the drive up from Annapolis,” said one camper, “but now I don’t want to leave…” They are leaving here ready to start their season strong!
All in all, it was another wonderful summer on The White Mountain School campus. Now that our renovations are complete we can continue to host additional groups at our beautiful facilities. If you are planning an event for next summer and think maybe we could help, get in touch and let me know.
Ben Mirkin
Phone #: 603-444-2928 x40
Email: ben.mirkin@whitemountain.org

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