Bear Mountain: A Recap

On the 27th of October, science research students attended a day-long field trip to Bear Mountain where students enjoyed a thrilling hike. 

The Bear Mountain trip has been an annual tradition for the science research community, providing students with not only fun, but also an educational experience. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the trip has been cancelled as an accommodation of safety precautions and regulations. This year has allowed for the resumption of this trip.

Mrs. York expresses her opinion about the restitution of the trip. “I love the Bear Mountain Trip and am so glad that it is back after the COVID hiatus.  The trip is a great bonding experience for our science research students and it is a great way for all of the science research teachers to get to know the students better.  It is also something that students look forward to every year.  The tradition of going to Bear Mountain is part of the research experience and graduates from the program still talk about what it meant to them.”

In order to attend, students signed a permission slip and contract with their parents, enabling them to take part in the trip. Students also needed to pay a $90 fee to the school. 

The trip called for an early morning as students were expected to be at the bus platform by 6:30 a.m. At this time, students were organized into their busses by classes. A few administrators including Mr. Schorn, Mrs. York, and Mr. Bambino from the Science Research department attended the trip as supervisors. The drive to Bear Mountain was approximately 90 minutes, meaning students arrived around 9:30 a.m. 

 The trip’s arrival location. (Credit: Lihie Kalfa)

As students arrived, they were gathered in one area prior to leaving for the hike where students were provided with guidelines and information regarding the plan for the day. 

After attendance was checked, the students and administrators headed for the hike which was selected as an easy trail. Throughout the hike, students encountered many scenic views such as ponds and small waterfalls. As the hike went on, students were able to appreciate the alluring view in relation to the increasing height of the mountain. 

 Students and administrators gather before embarking on their hike. (Credit: Lihie Kalfa)

Many described the hike as being very delightful and relaxing as students were able to enjoy the delightful environment. One sophomore, Noah Scheidt, reflected on his experience on the height. “I had a lot of fun on the hike. I was able to talk to my friends and enjoy the pretty sights. I loved walking through nature and seeing different animals and plants along the way. It was surprising to realize how high up we got on the mountain, since the hike didn’t feel that long.”

 A line of students hike along a trail, nearing the top. (Credit: Lihie Kalfa)

While everyone enjoyed the hike, some felt that it was more difficult in that the hike was more challenging. Amitha Kumar, a sophomore student, describes some of the more critical aspects of the hike. “While I had a great time on the hike, the only minor problems I encountered along the hike was that it felt a little long and the trail seemed a bit more difficult than expected. As the hike went on, the trail had no paved road meaning we had to step on different rocks and in different puddles and streams.” 

Interestingly, Mrs. York, one of the supervisors, actually injured herself on the hike. “I rolled my ankle when I was turning around to watch the line of students coming up from behind me.  I was gathering the lead group on a wide, open spot so that we could let the mid-pack catch up a little and so that the students in the front could take off some layers and get a drink.  Nothing more exciting than a bad foot placement.  I’ve certainly done worse when I’ve been hiking, though never on a field trip.”

However, despite this unfortunate incident, students still had a great time as they enjoyed the opportunity to bond and enjoy the exciting view at the top of the mountain with one another. 

 Students enjoy the view from the top of Bear Mountain. (Credit: Lihie Kalfa)

After the hike, students enjoyed lunch in the dining hall. A delicious lunch buffet was arranged, and also included a variety of desserts, particularly churros and brownies. Students also had the opportunity to receive kosher and vegetarian options, if they chose not to eat the food offered at the buffet. After lunch, students were supposed to visit the petting zoo at Bear Mountain, yet due to renovations that were occurring , they were unable to.

Rather, students headed straight for the carousel where Mr. Schorn went on his annual carousel ride, provoking excitement among the students. After a few rides, students were gathered and directed towards the buses.

In short, the science research department is lucky to have the Bear Mountain trip, offering a fun, educational, and memorable experience for all members who attended.