In the early morning of September 9th, THIS high school students went on their long-awaited outdoor team building field trips. The air was crisp after the heavy rains. Grade 9 and 10 students went to Shidu Park – the same venue where In the previous week, our 8th graders also went to enjoy outdoor activities. Grades 11 and 12 students went to Yanshan Via Ferrata Camp to experience climbing.
This THIS team building trandition allows our THIS Spartans learn to apply the school’s core values to their daily life and to further develop a sense of collective identity and awareness of their class and grade.
The students were well-equipped carrying food prepared with care. Students thought that the early morning heavy rain would delay ore even cancel the trip. But to everyone’s surprise, the rain stopped, the sky cleared, and the air was filled with glowing excitement. THIS students boarded the bus in an orderly manner and set off for the sunshine!
Grade 9 and 10 students finally arrived at the destination – Shidu Park as the sunshine became just right and the wind was calm. Like a group of musical notes, the students happily crossed the swaying Yoyo Bridge and took the cable car toward the top of the mountain to experience the surrounds of birdsong, mountain breeze and the sounds of nature near and far.
As the hiking trip started, the mountain seemed to wake up to our brisk pace and pleasant conversation by sending us a cool breeze. After climbing the mountain, the 9th and 10th graders came to the long-awaited rainbow glass walkway. The walkway was built on the cliff face and was beautiful and thrilling with its colorful glow in the sunlight. For some students, they were excited by the beautiful challenge, but for others, their fear of heights prevented them from fully enjoying the unparalleled view at first. Luckily, with the encouragement and support of their classmates and teachers, all students stepped onto the glass. In the distance, the mountains towered over the greenery and the distant mountains were dense in a fog like an ink painting. Everyone took out their cameras and took endless amounts of pictures.
The last activity after the descent was the rainbow drifting. Everyone got on the small crafts in groups of two and rushed down in the river made of colorful glass, riding the waves. With each splash, there were youthful smiles and cheers.
At the same time, grades 11 and grade 12 students were experiencing the “flying wall” at Camp Via Ferrata. The rock climbing activity captures the thrill and excitement of climbing in the wilderness but without much professional experience required. The students learned how to scale the cliff rock using harnesses and cables.
Our 11th and 12th graders set off in two separate climbing routes. Along the way, there would be different levels of difficulty and students dealt with different challenges. All were brave to move forward and climb upwards. Through the activity of challenging themselves, they developed a keener sense of self, thus built more confidence through the interactions with the nature. Also, during the climbing, students frequently gave a helping hand to their classmates. They grew during the challenge making themselves more compassionate and empathetic. The students not only achieved their own goals of climbing upward, but also learned how put themselves in the shoes of others.
The moment they reached the top of the mountain, the students really embraced the feeling of “being on top of the mountain and seeing the highest view” with faces were full of sweat. This was the victory mark of transcendence.
To THIS Spartans
Finally, each grade ended the trip with group photos. The students all know that the real journey is far from over. We will cheer each other on, encourage each other, and be the shoulder for each other through this new semester full of challenges. We will continue to surpass ourselves!
THIS Spartans, life is always one “adventure” after another. Whether you are ready to be an explorer or not, you will always encounter your own “mountain.” May you all have good luck and may you learn to be brave in your own challenges. May you reap the rewards of love and may you learn about great love as you persevere beyond yourselves.