Fall Semester 2018
Let the Adventure Begin!

New Hampshire was a BLAST!

What an adventure!  Stewards enjoyed cross country skiing, tubing, snowshoeing, indoor skydiving as well as a trip to the Remick Museum, where they learned first- hand about farming and life in New Hampshire in the 1800 and 1900s. It is hard to believe that this was our last trip.  We are certain that in addition to the exciting events and activities, Stewards will remember fondly their nights in the White Mountains playing Settlers of Catan, talking with friends, and sharing meals together.


Preparing for Play

Stewards will leave their mark on our campus in numerous ways, but one way that will be commemorated is their preparation of the new natural playground on upper campus.  Stewards cleared land, chopped and split wood, and stacked rocks to make space for the new playground.  Their hard work will be appreciated by kids for years to come!  They celebrated with campfire chili and pineapple upside down cake.


Math in Stone

Stewards practiced practical math at the Stony Creek Quarry in Branford, CT yesterday.  You can read about the impressive history of the Quarry and view their assignment here.


Weekend Fun!
This weekend, we bounced, shoveled, built, and SMILED! A lot!  It was a packed few days with an Escape Room Friday night, the Trampoline Park Saturday morning, Free Solo the movie on Saturday, and Farm work on Sunday.  In between, we enjoyed meals at the Lodge, playing cards, and just spending time together.


Science Wednesday

Highlights from our field trip to the CT Science Center include the:

  • Bionic Arm
  • Sound Resonator
  • Radio sphere
  • Model Heart
  • Butterfly Room
  • Weather Reporting
  • Virtual Reality
  • Engineering Exhibit
  • Teachers dressed as twins


Environmental Outdoor Education

Stewards have been enjoying the gorgeous fall days on campus while learning about indigenous cultures. This morning, Evan grounded us for the day with a chapel talk that prompted us to think about the land we inhabit and how it has been shaped by natural and human forces over time.  He also asked us to consider how the land itself has shaped cultures and communities.

They're back!
What a beautiful setting the Stewards enjoyed for their backpacking adventure!  They were happy to shower and everyone is looking forward to a nice meal in the lodge tonight.

On the Brink of Yosemite Falls
Stewards will complete daily readings over the course of their backpacking trip this week.  Today's reading is "On the Brink of Yosemite Falls" from John Muir's My First Summer in the Sierra. They will respond to the following journal prompt:

When have you done something exhilarating that might have been dangerous? How did you feel?

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Stewards will hit the trail on Tuesday morning for a multi day backpacking trip.  They will follow the route below and return Saturday afternoon. Bags are packed, boots are broken in, and everyone is excited for this adventure!  Stewards are prepared for the colder weather and will have hot meals, hot water bottles/hand warmers, and warm beverages available.  

Pumpkin Carving at Bushy Hill Nature Center

Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase
Stewards completed a one mile trail run in Ivoryton this weekend.  After their race, they volunteered to fill water cups and hard out water to the 5k runners.  Their homemade costumes and the fun halloween music we had playing made for an energizing and spooky water station! Stewards are excited to complete their own 5k in November!

Geology Rocks!

Stewards learned the three basic classifications of volcanoes and the science behind their formation and composition. Students then used modeling clay, baking soda, and vinegar to create their own composite volcanoes.

Canoeing the Connecticut River in Vermont

Instruction on Outdoor Adventure Expeditions includes science, social studies, math, reading, and writing, as well as outdoor education.  Stewards are are learning how to do everyday tasks in the back country: brushing teeth, hand washing, keeping clothes clean and dry, keeping spaces and belongings tidy, washing dishes, packing and unpacking camp, and cooking. In addition to these individual skills, Stewards rotate roles each day to contribute to the community. They serve as cook, quartermaster, navigator, and documentor. 

Stewards are lucky to have pretty spectacular weather for this trip, but as the nights start to get chillier, they are learning how to stay warm while camping this fall:

  • Minimize sweat. Before you get into your sleeping bag, you should clean your body of sweat and put on your sleep-only clothes. I recommend long underwear or fleece pants, warm socks, and a warm hat. You don’t want to wear layers you have been sweating in, as the moisture will draw heat away from you. However, you can put your clean clothes for the next day in your sleeping bag to warm them up and fill any air pockets inside your bag. You can also put your insulating layer on top of your bag once you are inside.Stewards are lucky to have warm weather for most of this trip, but the nights will get chillier on this trip and on future trips, so Stewards are learning how to stay warm while we are out camping this fall:
  • Fluff up your sleeping bag before you get in. The extra loft helps it hold warmth.
  • Don’t put your face inside the bag while you’re sleeping, your breath will add moisture and make you colder.
  • Make sure you eat well at dinner, you will need the calories during the night.
  • Put extra gear under your sleeping pad for more insulation between you and the ground.
  • If we have the fuel we will boil extra water so we can go to bed with a hot water bottle.
  • If your sleeping bag is too big you should fill empty gaps with clean clothes. Just be sure you’re not stuffing it so tight that you flatten the loft of your bag.

The Route

We have some future lawyers in the group!  

The Most Dangerous Game 
Mock Trial

Imagine that Sanger Rainsford has escaped from Ship-Trap Island and is now accused of murder. Let’s bring this case to trial, shall we?

  • Judges: Emily and Juliana
  • Rainsford: Ted
  • Prosecution Team: Pearse, Hugh, Lilly
  • Defense Team: Robyn, Duncan, Atticus
  • Witness (Ivan): Evan

The prosecution must convince the judges that Rainsford is guilty of murder, while the defense team must convince the judges that he acted rightfully in self-defense, which does not count as murder.

Each side will use the story as evidence to support his/her case.

Both sides must also write questions for Rainsford and the witness, Ivan.

Rainsford and Ivan must prepare themselves to answer questions on the stand, as well as prepare a diary entry from this time period to share with the courtroom.

  1. Opening Statements: 2 minutes
  2. Examination and Cross Examination of witnesses
  3. Closing Arguments: 2-3 minutes

CT and RI Marine Expedition

Stewards explored the CT and RI coast last week.  In preparation for their lessons aboard the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship, Stewards learned about and searched for invasive species at Rocky Neck State Park.  Boats like the Charles W. Morgan would have brought these hitchhiking species to port with them after traveling to other locations. Stewards logged their findings in an MIT database to contribute to the larger scientific community tracking exotic species.  

After a late season swim, we headed to Mystic Seaport, where Stewards had the unique experience of being at the museum after hours.  They enjoyed a delicious dinner in the Mystic Sailing Center while learning about their accommodations for the night: The Joseph Conrad.  After dinner, our class became the first to ever climb the rigging of the ship at night!  The view from the top was pretty spectacular! Our adventure continued with a compass challenge, which had Stewards running all over The Seaport following headings and clues until they arrived at the Charles W. Morgan, where they learned about life aboard a whaling ship and the whaling industry.  

After a cozy night's rest, we awoke to torrential rain, but that did not stop the fun!  We had a warm and bountiful breakfast before heading over to the planetarium where they learned to navigate with sextants and completed a celestial navigation challenge using real ship's logs from the Joseph Conrad. 

We spent the remainder of the morning exploring the seaport.  The Ship-smith Shop,  Viking Exhibit and the Mayflower II were big sources of excitement and awe among the group.  

Next, we hopped in the van and headed east to Narragansett, RI, where we enjoyed a warm meal at a restaurant, before setting up our campsite for the evening.  After a hearty dinner cooked over the fire and on camp stoves, we took a moment to share our gratitude around the campfire. 

The morning brought sunshine and great waves!  We surfed at Matunuck State Beach and Narragansett Town Beach.  I saw some of the biggest smiles I've seen yet that day!  My own included!  What fun it was to watch your students catch and ride waves!  

Reading, Writing, and Analysis

Stewards conducted Hatchet chapter explorations in partner groups during English today.  They identified imagery, symbols, excerpts, and thematic questions. They also wrote poetry engaging with two of the themes found in Hatchet: hope and silence. I have included two below:

On Hope
written by Ted
Hope is the bonfire on a cold night
Kindling is your good attitude
Hope is the bonfire on a cold night
The ashes are your failure that you use to build your success
Hope is the bonfire on a cold night

On Silence
written by Duncan
I do not know what's happened here.
For some reason I feel very queer.
There's not a sound like this I hear,
Silence is the one thing many have not heard.

Woodworking Elective

Stewards enthusiastically trekked through the drenching rain to woodworking last night.  They learned shop safety, the basics of hand tools and small power tools by creating a small canoe paddle pencil holder for their desks.  Next week, they begin to craft their very own canoe paddles!  Stewards will be able to customize their paddles and use a variety of techniques in the process.  In addition to the canoe paddles, Stewards will be working on larger projects on select weekend days on campus.  They will have the chance to work on the tiny house or to create some of their own design ideas.

Parent's Weekend: Friday, October 5 - Sunday, October 7
We are excited to see you in just over two weeks! We invite you to explore campus, enjoy a hike around our lake, and visit with Steward Faculty and Staff anytime between 1:00-4:00 pm on Friday, October 5.  The leaves are just starting to change, so the foliage should be beautiful by then!

If you prefer to extend your time your son or daughter and would like pick them up as early as 1:00 pm, you are welcome to do so.  All Stewards should be picked up for the weekend by 4:00 pm. Our campus will be closed for the weekend from Friday, October 5 at 4:00 pm through Sunday, October 7 at 4:00 pm. All Stewards should back on campus by 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 7.

I know many of you plan to return home or visit New York City or another nearby attraction, but if you would like information about local hotels or excursions, please let us know. We'd be happy to provide suggestions for you.

Our First Week of Classes
"I never could have sat through a two hour class at my old school!" This is just one of the many quotes we have heard this week.  Stewards jumped into their academic classes head first!  Your children are inquisitive, creative, and very bright! Stewards are examining literary devices such as point of view, characterization, foreshadowing and repetition, writing about the concept of luck, and debating character choices in English.  In Science, they have been investigating the solar system and Earth's place within it -picture them standing in a field calculating and creating a scale model of the solar system. Stewards began their individualized math and social studies blended learning courses this week and are learning about everything from Order of Operations to graphing and Scientific Notation in math and Native Americans, the Age of Exploration, and the Industrial Revolution in social studies. Concepts from each of these classes are incorporated into our thematic curriculum, allowing them to practice their new math skills in science for example, or gain context for their new historical knowledge in environmental outdoor education. 

The Rain Doesn't Keep Us Indoors!
The rain cooled Stewards during a morning run in Wellness Hour and made them very muddy while playing an after dinner game of Gaga Ball.  Their rain gear served them well during walks between the dorm and the classroom. They practiced campus stewardship by bailing rowboats full of rainwater and collecting litter that flowed into our lake. When the sun came back out today, we built debris shelters in Environmental Outdoor Education and played on the water trampoline during free time.

Acadia National Park is a hit!
Everyone is having a great time in Maine.  The weather is gorgeous and the scenery is spectacular.  Data service is spotty, so I do not have a lot of pictures to share, but when I spoke with Dana last night, she told me the ranger-led hike taught the students all about the geology and history of the area and tired them out as well.  They had some reading and rest time back at the campsite before heading to an astronomy activity at another ranger station.  A longer hike is planned for today and sea kayaking is on the agenda for Saturday.  Dana and the team are posting to Instagram and Facebook when they have service, so in addition to checking here for updates, you may want to follow those sites as well. 

A few updates from our first days of the semester:
-we've done lots of team building and are already seeing great bonds forming between all members of the group
-students have been happily immersed in the community and campus without the use of technology 
-we've made s'mores, played guitar, competed in trivia, and read stories by the fire
-each day has started with a Chapel Talk and ended with a Gratitude Circle
-the zip line and high ropes course were big hits with the whole group! Here we saw the effects of team building as they all cheered each other on.
-all members of the class passed the swim test at the lake and celebrated by playing on the water slide and water trampoline
-everyone is sleeping well and has had at least one shower 🙂
-students and our Outdoor Education team are en route to Acadia National Park 

Staying in Touch

To reach a staff member by phone anytime, please call the dorm: (860) 767-0848 x 605. If no one answers, please leave a message. We receive immediate alerts on our phones and email whenever a voicemail is left, so we can call you back.  This is the most efficient way to ensure you get in touch with the person on duty without having to call multiple numbers.

Mail and Packages

Steward Outdoor School at Incarnation Center PO Box 577 Ivoryton, CT 06442

Steward Outdoor School at Incarnation Center 253 Bushy Hill Rd Deep River, CT 06417


Hilary McAvoy - Salt Lake City, Utah
Juliana Mestre - Orlando, Florida
Peter Russo - Essex, Connecticut
Brian Lonabocker - Medfield, Massachusetts


Semester Calendar
On Campus Weekly Schedule