Hancock

All-School Weekends in Maine

For the whole school, two long weekends each year at a lakeside camp in southern Maine form the setting for some of our most vivid and lasting memories. Known for sentimental and historical reasons as “Hancock,” these retreats add a new dimension to our sense of community. We ease back from the usual fast pace of school to find new friendships and strengthen existing bonds.

Ahead of time, teams of cooks plan the meals all of us will eat, seniors gather music for the two evening dances, and other students check sports and lighting equipment, organize messenger and cleanup squads, and collect acts for a talent show. Once there, we all help unload gear from the buses and settle into our cabins and tents. For morning activities, we hike or birdwatch or join informal "classes" in everything from crafts to political discussion to mushroom hunting.

After lunch, students and teachers face off in baseball and soccer games; others go boating or swimming. In the country air, new understandings materialize. A classmate may turn out to be an avid bicyclist or juggler or chef, or just good company while chopping a mountain of onions, and teachers and students can talk at ease as they work together to make the weekend happen.

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