There are few days of rest, including the sabbath, in this secular realm of high school existence in which we find ourselves. If it is not a high school game to contest, a science club project, an a capella rehearsal, or an all-school workshop or event, it is a fall ice hockey tournament or game. As we like say around here, “if it is not another, it is one thing.”
Though this week NMH School cancelled classes to hew to an NMH tradition that began in 1881: Mountain Day. Every fall the school announces Mountain Day as a surprise–though a stretch, we might call it a relaxing secular saunter for teens. Classes are canceled, the students prepare by eating breakfast and politely ignoring adult advice about sufficient clothing, and then everyone who is anybody loads into buses bound for the woods of New England. (Students unable to climb are transported to the ending of the 3.7 mile hike in Massachusetts.)
Around 200 seniors and PGs, including Nathaniel this year, climb to the summit of the 3,165-foot Mt. Monadnock near Jaffrey, New Hampshire, one of the most-traveled peaks you will find anywhere. The junior and sophomore classes join the first-years to hike a 3.7-mile section of the New England National Scenic Trail that used to be called the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail.