By Samara Kinyanjui ’27
The annual All School Walk, started by Frederick Gunn, took place on the fifth of October, 2023. Leading the Frederick Gunn School up to Steep Rock was Director of Outdoor Programs, Dan Fladager. Seizing this opportunity and challenge, he led the school up a different path this year, making it a great All School Walk.
The All School Walk was not always named what it is today. In the 1860s, The Gunnery participated in a walk similar to what the Frederick Gunn School took this past month. The Gunnery participated in a walk which they called Gypsying. Frederick Gunn started out with gypsying every two years for three years. The Gunnery would do the walk each August in the years of 1861, 1863, and 1865. “Each August, the old school-boy home was depopulated while we made the journey of forty miles to Welch’s Point, which juts into Long Island Sound, two miles south of Milford, Connecticut” (Master of The Gunnery 98). Just like today, there were many preparations leading up to the walk. From figuring out the path the students take to designing the All School Walk t-shirt, students are always active participants in creating an awesome experience for the school community.
The All School Walk has been a big event for the school since the beginning of its history. Frederick Gunn firmly believed in ”every kind of rational exercise” (Master of The Gunnery 81). It was his way of building up character in his students. Joining the walk as a guest speaker for the school this year was professor Christopher Ives, who believes that nature is connected to a person’s well-being and that the more a person is connected to their surroundings, the more centered they will be.
Director of Outdoor Programs, Mr. Fladager loved planning and leading this amazing event once again this year. “Shepherding a tradition that is more than 100 years old is a huge responsibility — you never want to be the person that messes it up — but the school makes it easy because everybody works together to make this a great day for each other. Yeah, I put up the flags and ensure the attendance is taken, but it is truly our responsibility to honor the spirit of the day, and this year’s All School Walk went about as well as anybody could have expected. This is a great omen for the start of an incredible year!”