Every issue, the Eagle Edition looks through photos in the school’s archives and selects a moment to look back on.
Father Stephen B. Swann leads a daily chapel sermon for a group of upper school students at Crossen Ranch during an early Outdoor Education camping trip in 1980.
Outdoor Education has been a year-round tradition since the early 1980s when Father Swann first held class retreats on the beach in Galveston. Previously, upper schoolers and teachers were required to go on two wilderness trips a year where they would sleep under plastic tarps and hold campfires. The outdoor education program continues to support the School’s founding tenants, Religio, Erudio and Disciplina to help the School achieve its mission statement.
“What I see in that photograph is the same thing I see in our school shield,” Director of Outdoor Education Eddie Eason said. “[The trip teaches] students the discipline that it takes to live in a special community. There’s a faith component, an educational component and a community component, and often, oftentimes, it’s a community service element: We do daily chapel, regardless of where we are, and we have an experience in community in campfire circles.”
Currently outdoor education in the Upper School consists of annual class-wide Wolf Run trips, an Outdoor Education Course and optional trips to Enchanted Rock and other remote locations in Texas.
“[In the past], we would just leave one day right after school, go to a state park about an hour away and spend the night, and it was just perfect,” Eason said. “It was this picture all over again. We’re sitting around the campfire, and [the students] are looking around going, ‘God this is relaxing.’ It’s a chance to take a little bit of time to be with your friends, not worrying about how many deadlines you’ve got tomorrow [because] there’s more important things than that.”
To see more photos from the ESD archives please visit the Eagle Edition website.