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Photo: Inspiration bulletin board in the NCS Main Building.

The students and campers who attend North Country School and Camp Treetops often stay connected to our institution throughout their lives, coming back to visit for Friends’ Weekend and bringing their own loved ones along to experience our mountain campus for themselves. While there are many attributes that we believe make our space special—the surrounding Adirondack wilderness, our farm and gardens, the Ski Hill, Round Lake—we believe the relationships formed here have the greatest impact on our students and alumni.

That culture of community is woven throughout the NCS and CTT experience. Our teachers, counselors, students, and campers form life-long relationships that focus on support, encouragement, care, and inspiring one another to develop our strengths. Throughout this time apart we have been particularly grateful for you—our extended tight-knit community. Your words of encouragement, photos, and engagement in our remote programming have been consistent reminders of why we so greatly value being a part of this place. We look forward to continuing to see your updates from home, and know that, despite the distances between us, we are and always will be part of the same rugged, resourceful, and resilient North Country School and Camp Treetops family.

Please keep sending us your photos, and we will add them to our NCS at Home: Spring 2020 photo library. Email photos to Becca Miller at .

Note: Our campus is closed to all students for the remainder of the school year, with the exception of the international students who remained here during spring break, rather than returning to their home countries during the early stages of the outbreak. These students, along with our houseparents and faculty, are staying on campus and enjoying outdoor adventures in the contiguous wilderness during this time. They have been and will continue to take appropriate safety and prevention measures.

CREATIVITY AND CONNECTION




Top: Teacher Katie paints a Spanish Mother’s Day card. Middle: Katie’s Spanish card. Bottom: 9th-grader Emily’s Spanish card.

This past week our on- and off-campus community members celebrated Mother’s Day in creative ways that extended into our academic classrooms. Teacher Katie’s Spanish class wrote Spanish-language cards for the mother-figures in their lives, showing their love and appreciation while practicing their vocabulary. Katie wrote and painted a card that she will mail to her host mother from her college study abroad program in Chile, while 9th-grader Emily was able to give her card to her mother in person.



Top: 7th-grader Josie gives a science presentation. Bottom: 7th-grader Fred’s science presentation slide.

Rob’s 7th grade science class finished their electricity research projects this week, and completed their energy unit by giving presentations to their peers. The lessons focused on comparing the pros and cons involved in different clean-energy production methods. Josie ended her presentation on wind energy by fielding questions from her audience, and Fred’s slides used charts to illustrate facts about nuclear power’s role in the global energy supply.

ART AND ADAPTATION




Top: Courtney leads a play rehearsal. Middle: Alice in Wonderland cast rehearses together. Bottom: Giant hand prop for Alice in Wonderland.

Though our spring performance of Alice in Wonderland won’t be put on before a live audience, theater teacher Courtney will be compiling student performances into an edited version of the show for the greater NCS community. The cast has been working hard on their lines, and had their first rehearsal together this week. Though the show won’t look like past North Country School productions, Courtney and the cast and crew have been thinking creatively about how to incorporate elements like costumes and set into the final production.




Top: 9th-grader Sally practices her graduation piano piece. Middle: Music teacher Joey runs Sally’s music lesson. Bottom: Teacher Melissa paints Senior Pages.

As we near the final weeks of our academic year we have started to prepare for our remote graduation ceremony. Much like the spring production, this ceremony will bring in many elements of a traditional North Country School graduation, while adapting to this unique moment in time. Each year one or two students are chosen to perform musical pieces during the graduation ceremony, and this week 9th-grader Sally worked with music teacher Joey on her piano piece that will be a part of our celebrations that day. Another long held NCS end-of-year tradition involves giving graduating 9th-graders Senior Books—hand-bound books that contain appreciation pages from their teachers and peers. This week English teacher Melissa worked on some of her Senior Pages, which creatively repurpose old maps into new and beautiful cards of appreciation and good wishes for the future.

NCS AT HOME




Top: 5th-grader Wyatt plays in a river. Middle: Kentaro and Koga play badminton in the WallyPAC. Bottom: Tianyu cross-country skis.

This past week packed a punch of Adirondack spring weather conditions, from inches of fresh snow and overnight temperatures in the teens to sunny days in the sixties. Day student Wyatt sent photos of his time spent in one of our North Country rivers on a warmer day this week, while on-campus students Kentaro, Koga, and Tianyu adapted to the wintery conditions by engaging in some indoor badminton and embracing the cold for (perhaps) the last cross-country ski of the season.




Top: 7th-grader Sonya bakes a Mother’s Day pie. Middle: 6th-grader Samantha’s Mother’s Day waffle platter for her mother. Bottom: 6th-grader Will and his family’s seedlings.

Our students appreciated their mothers this past week by whipping up tasty treats using their Edible Schoolyard skills. 7th-grader Sonya baked her mother a beautiful apple pie, while 6th-grader Samantha and her younger brother prepared some waffles and fruit with a lovely holiday message. 6th-grader Will spent time with his family this week by helping care for the seedlings they’ve been growing in their North Country home. As temperatures continue to warm Will and his family will begin to move the plants outside for the season.

FARM AND GARDEN




Top: Horses in the sunshine. Middle: Barn Manager Erica trains Sterling using a lunge line. Bottom: Horse Bo gets his hooves trimmed.

Spring at the barn is not only a time for baby animals, but is also when our horses get ready for the upcoming riding season. Though riding is currently paused at North Country School, Barn Manager Erica has been hard at work with our herd, making sure ready for spring after the long winter. This past week, Erica began getting horse Sterling ready for work by exercising him using a technique called lunging, where a horse is asked to move at different gaits while attached to a line, while the whole herd had their feet checked and trimmed.




Top: Jack and Sam help build an arbor in the Forest Garden. Middle: Jack builds an arbor. Bottom: Kale in the greenhouse.

The Forest Garden, located by the Upper Field, is a relatively new growing space on the North Country School and Camp Treetops campus. Forest gardens are low-maintenance, sustainable growing areas that incorporate native plants and woodland ecosystems to grow food within existing environments. Our Forest Garden is not just a space to grow fruit trees like beach plum and peach and herbs like mint and thyme, but is also a beautiful place to relax and enjoy nature. This past week, on-campus students and adults helped ready the Forest Garden for spring by planting trees, weeding out spaces, and building an arbor made from young cherry tree branches. Later in the season the arbor will be covered in climbing vines, providing a bit or shade on hot summer days. Meanwhile, our greenhouses continue to flourish, with hardy greens like kale that are ready to be picked and tomato seedlings that will be transplanted this week.

We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy, and that your communities are caring for and supporting one another. We will continue to update you about our community throughout this time, and encourage you all to reach out to us as well.

CONNECTING WITH OUR COMMUNITY:

Mondays: Check our Facebook page every Monday for a video from our School Counselor, Lauren, on tips for getting through this challenging time. Last week Lauren shared some tips from one of her favorite authors, MJ Ryan, on how to survive chaos you didn’t ask for.

Tuesdays: Creature Query– Barn Manager Erica Burns will be answering questions about the animals on our farm using fun and educational videos. In this week’s Creature Query, Erica led a live barn tour. Check it out on our Facebook page.

Wednesdays: What’s Cooking at NCS and Camp Treetops?- Edible Schoolyard instructor Elie Rabinowitz, along with other community members, will provide simple recipes and cooking resources you can use to prepare delicious meals at home with your families. This past week Director of Technology Devon Jacobs showed us how to make ribs. Check out all of the recipes on Facebook and on Tumblr.

Thursdays: Birding with Jack- 6th grade English teacher Jack Kiernan will offer the NCS community an opportunity to connect through the world of birds by providing the resources to become familiar with birds that our community is seeing around the globe. If you are out for a walk or sitting at home, looking out the window, take a moment to log the birds you see with the NCS eBird account. Last week Jack taught us about red-winged blackbirds, a common sight in Adirondack wetlands. Check it out on our Facebook page.

Fridays: Check our Facebook page every Friday for a video featuring a Japanese mini-lesson by teacher Meredith Hanson. Last week Meredith talked about “Nana korobi, ya oki,” a proverb that describes the ups and downs of life, and the importance of being resilient.

Saturdays:: The NCS Saturday Night Activity- Every Saturday at 8 p.m., NCS teacher Larry Robjent, along with other NCS faculty, will be hosting fun activities similar to those typically held on campus with students. Participate live from home with your own families. Last week was Bingo; this week’s activity is Charades.

For more information about the #ThisWeekAtNCS blog, contact Becca Miller at .

#ThisWeekAtNCS