By Emma Smith ’22 and Kate O’Farrell ’22
The all-school walk is a long-standing tradition at The Gunnery; it inspires a variety of opinions and memories. Whether students are looking forward to missing a day of classes or wanting the exercise, the walk is a highly regarded tradition at The Gunnery.
Alongside the all-school walk comes a flood of other activities in anticipation of the walk. This year, the school planned multiple activities the night before the walk, such as the trip to Frederick Gunn’s grave, the showing of the Avatar movie, the freshmen class activity, and the sophomore camping trip.
Fredericks Gunn’s gravesite is in the Washington Green Cemetery. According to Dr. Matthews, students from her “Spirit of New England” class and whoever else would like to attend take part in “a walk around campus to see dark spaces.” These dark spaces pertain to a topic that Dr. Matthews has been discussing with her students: witchcraft in New England during the 1600s. After they learn about this phase of New England’s history, they take a trip to Mr. Gunn’s grave to pay respects to our school’s founder.
The freshman class collectively participated in class activities in the gym on Wednesday, the afternoon before the day of the school walk. They bonded over games and fun activities in groups lead by the prefects. It can be hard to get to know each other in the first few weeks of freshman year, being new to the environment at The Gunnery, so these activities helped everyone get to make new friends.
This year, Ms. Leclerc and the sophomore class dean, Ms. Hart, resurrected the traditional “Sophomore Saunter,” a traditional camping trip for the tenth-grade class in which they would backpack from The Gunnery to Steep Rock Preserve and camp there. This year’s class would be the first class in almost ten years to go camping.
The camping trip, however, had some setbacks. The original plan was to camp out on South Street on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, but it was postponed by a week along with the walk. The next week it was a dreary Wednesday as well: it was pouring for most of the day when the sophomore class finally received an email saying that they would be camping in the gym.
Sophomores went to South Street to pick up the tents and sleeping bags as a group. Then, they set up tents in the gym, played games, and ate s’ mores. The Sophomore class “bonded together on this trip and hopes to bond even further over the rest of the school year,” said Hope Luangisa ‘22.
The next day was the all-school walk. Despite setbacks with the weather, the postponing of the walk by a week, and reports that it was supposed to be stormy and cold the day of the walk, it ended up being a wonderful day. Rain or shine, the event was a great way to honor the traditions of The Gunnery on the night before the walk.