On Thursday, May 19th, the Fifth Graders were loaded into a 15 person van and, with Jen Saffron and Ms Goodman at the helm, drove out of Pennsylvania, through Ohio, and into Michigan. We arrived at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor in time to meet the five other Waldorf School Fifth Grades (Ann Arbor, Detroit, Oakland (MI), Cincinnati, Akron) and immediately begin making new friends.
This annual trip is the pinnacle of the 5th Grade experience and combines the history studies of the year, the physical education goals of the year, and the social experiences of the eleven-year olds. Following an opening ceremony at which each fifth grade presented an aspect of their curriculum (we played the recorders), the students went home with various host families to have a filling dinner and get a good night’s sleep before the Pentathlon on Friday.
The students were divided into six different teams named after six city-states of Greece: Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Delphi, Mycenae, and Corinth and were combined with students from the other schools to form these new cohorts. The events of the day were javelin throwing, wrestling, long jump, 50 yard dash, 1/2 mile run, and discus throwing. Throughout the day the students also had snacks of grape leaves and fruit.
By the end of our time in Ann Arbor we had accomplished many things: winning laurel wreaths (Adam for skill in Javelin and 50 yard dash, Uma for grace in wrestling, Melanie for skill in wrestling, Laurel and Uma for time in 1/2 mile run, Leo for grace in 1/2 mile run), making many new friends, and finding the best in ourselves and our classmates as we competed. It was an amazing experience for all who attended!