Juniors, sophomores, freshmen enjoy grade trips to kick off academic year


Kathy Fang

Reiya Das (10) crosses the Incomplete Bridge, a series of wooden planks strapped between two trees. This was one of many rope courses offered throughout the day.

by Maya Kumar, Anvi Banga, Kathy Fang, and Rose Guan

Freshmen attend annual Grade 9 Field Day

The Class of 2021 began their freshman year today on Davis Field with an orientation event and several advisory bonding activities.

“Today’s activities showed me that you need teamwork in all aspects of life, and I think that’s one thing people don’t really expect to learn from school,” Kushal Shah (9) said.

Each advisory participated in a series of competitions which required collaboration from the entire group to complete. Some activities included plugging the holes in a tube in order to fill it with water, lifting objects with sticks and depositing them in a bucket and silently organizing themselves in order based on playing cards, without each individual knowing what their card is.

“It’s really important for them to get along and know each other really well,” Link Crew member Anooshree Sengupta (12) said. “The activities are really fun in that they force you to work together and they get everyone to start talking to each other.”

The activities were hosted by APEX Adventures, who has been working with Harker for over 15 years.

“I try to have a mix of some activities that are more physical than others and some others that are more cerebral without being sedentary but really take a lot of thought and problem solving,” Shaw Dunton, owner of APEX Adventures, said.

Sophomores participate in ropes course trip

The Class of 2020 began the new school year with a ropes course trip in the Santa Cruz Mountains today.

The sophomore advisories were split among four different sites: Walden West, Chaminade, Koinonia and Apex. Students had the opportunity to participate in high ropes activities with their classmates.

Elements such as the Giant’s Ladder, an immense ladder stretched between two trees that students could climb in pairs, and a zipline tested the students’ balance and agility. The ropes course allowed students to build stronger bonds with their advisories and classmates as they climbed their way through the towering redwood trees.

“I’m terrified of heights so it was scary for me when I looked down, but I just screamed as I jumped,” Adhya Hoskote (10) said. “It was actually really fun, so I’m just really happy.”

Anvi Banga

Juniors whitewater raft on the American River

Class of 2019 members participated in the annual whitewater rafting junior class trip east of Sacramento today.

Juniors and their advisors left the Blackford campus for the South Fork American River in four buses from 6:25 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Participants rafted in groups of seven to nine with guides from O.A.R.S., the rowing company supervising the trip. Rafters covered the 12 river miles between Beaver Point and Salmon Falls.

“There’s some streamlining that happens to make the logistics go smoother [with a larger group than normal], but I think spacing out into groups allows everybody to have a personal experience with the river, not a crowd experience,” Laurence Alvarez-Roos, an O.A.R.S. guide on the trip today, said.

Students and advisers traversed American River rapids up to class III, or intermediate level, passing landmark rapids like the Devil’s Cesspool. Rafters were also invited to swim in calmer areas.

“It was a really fun experience. I especially liked doing the rapids with my friends,” Riya Singh (11) said. “The last rapid was my favorite because it was grade III-plus, and it was super fun to navigate and get splashed.”

Trip attendees returned to Blackford before 8 p.m.

“Despite the fact that it’s a really long day, I’ve only ever heard really positive things, and it really lived up to it,” junior class dean Chris Florio said. “It’s really adventurous out there. All I saw were happy people having a good time, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Cameron Zell