Friday, December 6, was a special day at JRHS, the inauguration day of our latest campus expansion, "Sentinel Hill". At JRHS we have always viewed our 4.9 acre Stevens Lane campus as a gift from God, and we take pride in both upkeep and utilizing every corner we can put into Mission use.
This past summer, the back land behind our lovely Sentinel building presented itself as a possible expansion to the campus. In the early fall, a team of creative visionaries walked the land, and looked at how it could be improved, and began to brainstorm potential uses for it. Initial work began in the second quarter, after the Humanities Faire concluded. Under the leadership of our OE Director, Dan Burgher, and with some help from Susan Wilderman and Grandpa Philbrick, a small team of boys (chiefed by Joe Philbrick and Lukkas Hyvonen) began pruning and cleaning the wood land. Over the course of about 6 weeks, the unkempt woodlot transformed into a beautiful and useful piece of land. A couple brush piles later, and our vision was coming to pass! Those of you that know the piece I am writing about, will remember it to be very steep in some sections, and full of beeches and sugar maples.
Well, what a great Outdoor Education area it has become, and on opening day, we were graced with fresh powder for the students to try BackWoods skiing and other running around and having fun. Other ideas for the future include a picnic area, a climbing tree, and an area with woodland benches for gatherings. I love the whole idea and process of this project. In an era when kids have an increasingly hard time "playing in the woods", this new piece of developed land has given our students the opportunity to "tend the Garden" in the Creation God has entrusted us with.