On Day 3, for a mid-week check-in, we asked the students to respond to 3 questions. Here are a few of their responses …
What has been your favorite thing?
“All of us got to jump off of the dock after an amazing day of snorkeling”
“My favorite experience was when I was diving through the cut and I saw a close up with 3 sting rays”
“My favorite thing so far has been ‘girl bonding time.’ It’s a time where we share stories and the highs and lows of our days. It’s a time where although I know them I get to know them a bit better. Also, it’s SUPER cool that I am in the BAHAMAS with my best friends making the best memories ever!”
“My favorite moment was floating down the lazy river with the snorkel gear and seeing the rays. I have never been so close to a ray in a natural habitat.”
“We went to The Saddle and the big dredged hole and we were able to dive down and we had a lot of freedom to explore.”
How have you pushed yourself or challenged yourself while you have been here?
“I challenged myself when we went to the coral reef, because I didn’t think I would be comfortable enough to explore the fish, but I did and had lots of fun.”
“I snorkeled in really deep water for the first time at the Saddle. I’ve never snorkeled (or swam) in water deeper than 40 feet, but I found it was REALLY cool snorkeling in 100 feet of water.”
“I challenged myself by getting up at 5:50 AM! I’m not usually a morning person.”
“My most challenging moment was learning how to fillet a fish, because that’s not my favorite kind of thing, but I did it.”
What has surprised you?
“The fact that all the fresh water on campus comes from rain water is really great. How amaze-beans is that?!?!”
“The biggest surprise was how little waste they have and how sustainable they are on the island.”
“I was surprised about how much we do and especially learn in a day. I didn’t know we could fit so much in!”
At the end of Day 5, just before an evening program showing of Finding Nemo, the students reflected on the trip by responding to the following prompt: “You are writing a letter to 7th graders. What would you tell them? Feel free to add your own trip hashtags at the end of your letter.” Below are excerpts from some of their responses.
Dear 7th grade students,
You will love the Island School trip because …
“… you get pushed out of your comfort zone but in so many good ways that you’ll realize what really makes you happy, and, more importantly, who makes you happy. #thatsharksnotassmallasyouthink”
– Nora C.
“… the everything. The snorkeing, the swimming, the fish, the sun, the beach, and the friendship. #liveinthemoment”
– Pickle E.
“… we snorkle coral reefs, we float the cut, we live together, we bond, we learn about conservation, we’re off the grid, we explore, the water is rainwater, the food is great, you learn responsibility. #bahamaland”
– Bey G.
“… if you’re an acitve person it is the perfect place. There is fun in the water: snorkeling, freediving, boat trips, running, and swimming. If you’re a nature person there are nature walks and swimming with fish and mangroves. #bugsarebullies”
– Charlie M.
“… first, you get to experience one of the most beautiful places ever. You get to go outside of your comfort zone and do so many exciting things. You can trust people by telling them what you are afraid of and get so much support back. #dontdropyourgoproin100feetdeepwater #fun #peaceful”
– Ellen N.
“… you will get so much closer with your classmates and have special memories. You will take risks and do things you have never done before. You will challenge yourself and discover new things about yourself that you never knew. You will have so many fun and exciting experiences. #aintnomountainhighenough
– Katie S.
“… the snorkeling expeditions that you will go on are phenomenal. Be sure to go slow and keep your eyes peeled for fish! The crew from the Island School is awesome. They will truly show you what it means to be sustainable. #beyourself #livesustainably”
– Jeb H.
“… you see lots of fish, coral, TURTLES, SHARKS, and you get to eat lionfish (very, very tasty). You go to “the cage” and see the mangroves. Also, you get to dissect fish and lionfish. You learn so many skills to bring home. #hugemoths #tinysharks”
– Dani A.
“… this place opens your eyes to how you can help save local and worldwide ecosystems. The sense of community in this special place unites a large majority of your class and strengthens and creates new relationships through teamwork and activities. Many peers with whom I have talked about the trip described it a, ‘life changing’ and ‘the best week of my life.’ I hope you all have fun.”
– Walker M.
“… the snorkeling you do is amazing and you get to see a lot of epic stuff that you wouldn’t see back in MA. #dontforgetyourwaterbottle”
– Ryan H.
“… everything about this place is amazing! Even the morning exercises I dreaded turned out to be some of the most fun things I’ve ever done. In school, you think so many times that you won’t apply things that you learn in school to life in general. However, here at the Island School you will apply everything you learn in about an hour and the whole time while learning, while applying, and while experimenting. You will have the most fun you’ve ever had. So step out of your comfort zone and join your classmates in a trip to the Island School.”
– Kishan P.