CS’s Annual Trip To Frost Valley

Last week, students in Community School went to Frost Valley, a camping retreat in the Catskill Mountains, for three days to build stronger connections with their “family.” 

“With no cell service and pink skies, Frost Valley is a chance to disconnect from life’s stresses and build new friendships,” junior Sam Friedman said.

North High School’s Community School, or CS, was founded in 1971 as an alternative form of education. In CS, students have a more active role in their class as most of their classwork is focused on discussion. 

Every year, Frost Valley provides an opportunity for the new members of CS to be introduced to the community. It’s a cherishable trip that allows students to develop relationships with their open and compassionate peers.

CSers pose for a classic Frost Valley group photo (Credit: Jayden Wen).

The students woke up at 9:15 AM on Sunday to board the bus for a three hour ride to Frost Valley. Upon arrival, the CSers went to their bunks to unpack their belongings and got ready to spend the day doing community-building activities. 

One of the activities involved the students being split up into four teams: red, green, blue, and black. All teams competed in multiple activities including answering trivia questions and dueling in a round of tug of war. In the final event, the green team chased Aidan Lam, a member of the blue team, but Lam and the blue ended up winning.

Alijaj summed up her routine for the days she was at Frost Valley. 

“I wake up, smile, cry, and sleep,” Alijaj said. 

Many students cried because of an overwhelming sense of community and connection that they felt on the trip. Many seniors cried as they were upset that it was their last year on the trip. To conclude their final moments at Frost Valley, the seniors sang the senior song which made them cry as well as some underclassmen. 

“I kept saying that it was the best three days of my life, but those or any other words really don’t cut it,” Alijaj said. 

Junior Maurice Zalta also had an amazing experience on the trip and described in two words that “it ate.”

CSers congregate indoors for a late night meeting (Credit: Anna Beauschane).

Senior Maverick Williams reflected on his experience at Frost Valley.

“There was something so inexplicably magical about frost valley,” Williams said. “In three days, I felt a deeper extent of my own feelings of camaraderie and friendship than I knew that I could. But if you get down to it, it wasn’t the upstate woodsy location that made the trip, as trees are just trees and a river is just a river. It was the people who care that made it matter.”

The beautiful trees pictured behind the students and the smiles on their faces captures the Frost Valley Trip (Credit: Jayden Wen).