In Latin, the word verdun means “strong fort.” Certainly, the group leaders and administrators of Verdun intend to create a fortress of solidarity amongst the visitors to their facility. “Doc” Snyder, who established Verdun, and who greets each group before they begin their day’s work, emphasizes the need for self-understanding, reflection, and actively serving your fellow man. The students are clear, from the very beginning, about their learning objectives for the day.
For our first field experience, it is generally the intention of the faculty to have students focus on team-building. So much of what we do here at MVGS revolves around group work, working in teams, and learning to function within a coalition of thinkers, that we believe proper team-building is crucial to the school’s success. Verdun’s program enables us to achieve that goal while allowing the students to have a great day outdoors…and in the air.
One of the favorite activities amongst the students, The Squirrel promotes trust and risk-taking. The student in the air is propelled upwards by the strength of their classmates, and while all safety procedures are followed, and the student is never in danger, it certainly does require bravery to begin the process.
The balance beam is an activity in which you are supported by a network of your teammates on the ground, but only you can complete the journey. Even when there are people to catch you if you fall, ultimately, you have to be the one who charts your course.
Verdun’s able facilitators led our students throughout the day, constantly reinforcing the message that when everyone works together we are all supported.
In a good team, someone is always there to catch you when you fall.
Even when you think the worst is going to happen, someone in your team always has your back.
And, in the end, everyone gets to fly.
Thank you to the students for creating a wonderful day with your enthusiasm and excitement. Without your positivity and vigor, nothing we do at Verdun (or MVGS) would be worthwhile. And, thank you to Verdun, for hosting us and being leadership inspirations to our students.
WAYYYY more pictures (and videos!) are available for viewing at the school’s picture website: www.mvista.smugmug.com