February may be the shortest month on the calendar, but it also may be the most grueling at New England boarding schools. We're indoors a lot, which brings coughs and colds; trimester courses that began just after Thanksgiving continue to build toward exams and final projects; afternoon activities can begin to seem tedious, and then there's the snow drought (which is being alleviated this weekend.)
A current parent volunteered observations on the pace of student life recently, including the folllowing: "...If this isn't a rigorous, tough, demanding, energy-sapping, all-encompassing program of study...then I'd like to see one."
He goes on: "I honestly do not think that most Proctor parents could even follow these kids around for more than a day or two without collapsing. I know that I couldn't because I've tried to do it."
"Proctor kids - this is just my opinion - are a wildly under-valued bunch. They are so tough, they do such interesting things. Their days are full. They work their butts off."
It is with these thoughts in mind (winter term is long and tough, and we're working hard) that we schedule a Bonus Weekend at mid-winter, and a surprise "Head's Holiday" or "Head's Day," a tradition that goes back forty-something years....when classes were cancelled and the whole school went skiing for a day at a local resort. In recent decades, Head's Day has morphed into a much-appreciated sleep-in with lots of optional activities. Some are in search of the perfect hill.
With the outer bands of a blizzard sweeping the region, we limited travel and opened Proctor Ski Area for recreational skiing, however you define it. For some, the GS course on the Burden Trail was the choice. No lines, no tickets, no hassles. Just the best skiing in New Hampshire. Join us Saturday night for the annual Ski Area Celebration. Open skiing...public...dinner.
The origins of broomball at Proctor are lost in history, but certainly go back forty years, and the sport endures today (with some loosening of rules!) This afternoon's contest started without brooms, and allowed skates, so it resembled soccer on ice.
The fun factor is obvious, and brooms did appear, for what that's worth.
Girls still looking for the perfect sledding hill....
Dealing with snow drought.
We're working hard through a long February.
We're working hard.
Sam emerges from Polar Swim. Note the Proctor "P" cut in the ice of Elbow Pond.