This month, students and staff traveled to Costa Rica's northern zone to explore Arenal – a once highly active volcano that periodically rumbles to life – and the surrounding area, famous for its beauty and adventure opportunities. When students were asked about their favorite part, each answered differently, with highlight quotes including:
“We swam in the crater of an extinct volcano. [Volcan Chato] Who gets to do that?”
“The best part was hanging out with Tom.”
“The whitewater rafting was amazing, even though it is the dry season.”
Besides navigating mighty rapids and crater-lake swimming, students hiked to and swam in the 200-foot La Fortuna waterfall, handled snakes at a serpentarium, and enjoyed quality time with Tom! The students all returned positive and energized for the upcoming quarter.
New Summit Academy is privileged to have the community at Hogar de Vida as our neighbors. The amazing children who are cared for by a dedicated staff of tias, or aunts, welcome our students into their home weekly with hugs, shouts of joy, and energy which wears out even our guys!
New students visiting the children’s home for the first time may be shy to begin with, or afraid to hold an infant or feed a toddler, but surrounded by the spirit of these children, each student eventually bonds with his “favorites” through play, arts & crafts and fun outdoor activities.
Many thanks to Daisy, our Cultural Coordinator, for working to develop this relationship with Hogar de Vida, and for introducing such an enriching experience to our students.
NSA’s U.S. History class is analyzing small U.S. led military engagements that sought to pursue U.S. empire building, promote and negotiate expanding economic markets and policies, protect corporate investments in foreign lands, conduct scientific, oceanographic, and geological exploration, and occasionally noble pursuits like the encouragement and spread of democratic principles, political stability, infrastructure soundness and public facilities (customs houses, schools, administrative structures, road and highway systems, bridges, and hospitals), bureaucratic transparency and fairness, and basic modern sanitation systems and standards.
Chemistry class has been studying functional groups as part of our Organic Chemistry Unit. Students have been practicing drawing, naming and recognizing molecules, as well as studying the relationship of Organic Chemistry with daily life (hydrocarbons, steroids, pheromones, and pharmaceutical drugs, just to name a few.) The class is currently researching different types of drugs and their chemical structures, in order to put the knowledge learned in class in context; they will be presenting their findings to the class next week as part of their final evaluation for the quarter.
Each quarter, to thank these valuable community members, New Summit Academy hosts a Homestay Picnic. Daisy, our Cultural Coordinator, along with our Experiential Education staff, plan a day full of fun and activities. This quarter, students and families posed for portraits and competed in wheel barrow races. Our chefs prepared picnic food, and the community sat to share a meal and memories of the quarter. Our talented students gave back as well, entertaining families and peers with live music.
Thank you to our Costa Rican homestay families who do so much to enrich the experiences of the students at New Summit Academy!
Between courses of the feast, students engaged in (safe) wrestling matches, noodle-sword duels, and gave their teams rousing speeches to galvanize them in competition. The students should be commended for taking it upon themselves to organize and host healthy, fun activities – and we hope to see more in the future!
This is a great article about the different "responses" or "reactions" we can have to conflict as parents and adolescents. The main point is to take a problem-solving approach (instead of attacking, complying or withdrawing). The problem-solving approach has the best effects on mental health, identity, resilience, confidence, relationships and future outcomes.
NSA students who have graduated the program but chosen to remain enrolled to complete high school have the opportunity to enroll in the Second Summit Program, which focuses on building real-life skills for a successful transition. Part of that development is the opportunity to learn and practice important organizational and travel skills on Second Summit’s international Aventuras.
This quarter, these senior students traveled to Belize and Guatemala to help plan our July all-school trip. Students booked transportation, accommodations, arranged service-learning opportunities – all while enjoying the history of Mayan sites and the beauty the Belizean coast.
Students in their second quarter traveled to the Osa Peninsula to hike into the stunningly diverse Corcovado National Park. Each time NSA travels to the area, students return with stories about seeing tapir, monkeys, anteaters, and even crocodiles (from a safe distance, of course.)
This trip proved extraordinarily special in the realm of wildlife encounters. One student, fascinated with photography, was hiking in the back of the group with one of our EE staff. As they rounded a headland on the beach, the two spotted a mother puma with two cubs. This unique experience helped make the classes on forest succession and biological diversity that much more meaningful.
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!