By Bridie Mae Strowe ’24
As the monochrome bleakness of winter threatens many student’s high spirits, it’s important to get outside and have as much fun as we can, and one of the best opportunities to do this is Mountain Day. A ‘tradition in the making,’ Mountain day takes place annually during our winter trimester, providing both students and faculty alike with the opportunity to ski, tube, and have a full day of zero assignments. But how does this happen? What goes into Mountain Day to make it a reality for our community? There is no one better to answer these questions than our beloved Outdoor Program Director, Mr. Fladager!
Surprisingly, Mountain Day only started last year, when Mrs. LeBlanc (Inspired by a similar activity from her former school) proposed the activity to the outdoor program. The Mountain Day last year was actually put together pretty ‘last-minute’, according to Mr. Fladager, but this year should be even better given the amount of planning that went into it. Mountain Day is an event put together chiefly by the collaboration of departments at the Frederick Gunn School – Outdoors and Dean of Students (DOS).
These groups have been planning this year’s Mountain Day since the end of summer break, according to Mr. Fladager, but with student activity decisions only needed around the start of the new year. Large tasks in planning this event include transportation arrangements (Taken care of by DOS), communication with Mohawk mountain regarding client numbers, funding arrangements, announcements, student questionnaires, and much more. And although a few hiccups have happened (As with any big project, but these coming from students not answering questionnaires), the committee behind Mountain Day has chugged along to make this event a reality for our community!
Statistically speaking, Mr. Fladager stated that about 300 Highlanders (Not including faculty) will be present at this year’s Mountain Day from Sophomores through Seniors (Sans freshmen while they attend their Lake Placid trip). As of right now, about 200 Highlanders have signed up for lift passes. In addition to our three uppermost classes, Mohawk will also host around 35 FGS faculty members. I’m sure that all of us students can’t wait to see our coaches, teachers, and dorm parents on the slopes. Mountain Day does a lot for our community; it brings us winter cheer, the opportunity to spend time with friends, and gives us a whole day dedicated to the art of risk-taking. It helps us break down the barriers between teachers and students and learn to have fun amidst the chaos that takes place in the middle of our school year!