Parents Association & Parents Council
The Durham Academy Parents Association supports the school's academic, social, fine arts and athletic objectives. Parents Association encourages volunteerism, raises and disperses funds, promotes communication and cooperation, and provides input to the school on issues of concern and interest to parents. All Durham Academy parents are members of the Parents Association.
The Durham Academy Parents Council is the governing board of the Parents Association. This group comprises members of an executive committee; division representatives; members of schoolwide committees on matters such as diversity, wellness and athletics; and parents who organize both community-building and fundraising events. See a list of the parents who serve on Parents Council.
Parents Bulletin Board
School is in session, but Durham Academy fifth through 12th graders weren’t necessarily doing their learning on campus this week.
Early in the school year, Middle School and Upper School students traditionally head off for class trips that take them as far away as Georgia and Alabama and as close by as Wake County. Students and alumni often say the class trips are among their most memorable DA experiences.
Experiential education is a hallmark of the Durham Academy experience. Outdoor, overnight excursions bring each class together for a shared adventure away from campus and help establish a cooperative, friendly and supportive sense of community. They range from a day of activities at Falls Lake for seventh graders, to a civil rights trip through the South for 11th graders. The independence fostered during Middle School trips culminates with Senior Challenge, a six-day backpacking trip complete with hiking and rappelling in the North Carolina mountains.
Why are these experiences so important?
Camp Thunderbird (5th grade)
“Camp Thunderbird is a big milestone for fifth graders - their first overnight school trip! This experience at Camp Thunderbird - located on Lake Wylie, southwest of Charlotte - aims to foster students' leadership skills, social responsibility and healthy lifestyles, as well as to help establish relationships among students and faculty.” – Theresa Shebalin, 5th grade team leader
Camp Cheerio (6th grade)
“For our students Camp Cheerio is always one of the major highlights of their Middle School years, and the sixth-grade team is very proud of that fact. We are in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and Virginia and the time spent there doing fun and sometimes challenging activities like initiatives, hiking, and canoeing enable us as a group to bond and get to know each other in ways that would not be possible here at school.” - David Glass, 6th grade team leader
Falls Lake (7th grade)
“Rolling View Park on Falls Lake is a short drive from DA, with a picnic shelter, lots of open space for games, and beach access. We like to take them away for the day so that we can play games as advisory groups (a.k.a. advisory bonding!), discuss our common reading book (the kids will actually act out scenes from “The Revealers” by advisory groups for the whole grade), have a cook-out and swim. It is always a fun day, as the kids get to know each other better and we get acquainted with our new group of advisees.” - Teresa Engebretsen, 7th grade team leader
Camp Kanuga (8th grade)
“The 8th Grade trip to the Mountain Trail Outdoor School at Kanuga provides programs and activities that allow new and returning students and advisors to get to know each other, to form new friendships with shared experiences, to experience positive community, to grow physically and mentally, to improve self-confidence, and to increase awareness and stewardship of our natural environment.” - Marianne Green, 8th grade team leader
Green River Preserve (9th grade)
“The focus of our time at GRP's camp is learning to co-exist and work with nature much the way as our ancestors did many years ago. Students work with trained naturalists learning via hands-on activities centered upon the nature of the various ecosystems that are a part of our mountain heritage. The trip also incorporates nature hikes during which 9th graders will learn about the flora and fauna surrounding us. DA students also learn primitive crafts/skills - from making fire with sticks, to creating 'Stone Age' jewelry and pottery, to tracking animals, and using their 'night vision'.” – Howard Lineberger, Upper School Science
High Rocks Camp (10th grade)
“The trip to Camp High Rocks combines adventure and personal challenge. Students learn to work with one another in their advisory groups, and are exposed to experiences designed to make them more sensitive to the natural environment. The High Rocks program includes white water rafting, rock climbing, GPS orienteering and navigating a high ropes course.” – Howard Lineberger, Upper School Science
Civil Rights Tour (11th grade)
“The trip, which includes stops at Atlanta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and World Peace Rose Garden, Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park, Montgomery and Selma, lets our students stand in the places in which civil rights history was made. Because this is a more emotional than physical experience, we hold nightly debriefing and reflection sessions in advisory groups.” – Julian Cochran, Upper School Computer Science
Senior Challenge (12th grade)
“Our experiential education program, of which our class trips are a critical component, is an essential part of educational experience of our students and has been for decades. The trips provide opportunities for students and faculty to get to know each other better, for advisories to bond, and for students to step outside their comfort zones in developmentally appropriate ways. In the case of Senior Challenge, it’s also an opportunity for aging administrators to see if they still have what it takes (they usually don’t).” – Lee Hark, Director of Upper School
Be sure to watch for photos next week on DA’s Facebook, Twitter and Flickr feeds as well as www.da.org and in next week’s issue of News & Notes. We’ll also have a special feature on this year’s Senior Challenge courtesy of DA’s Assistant Communications Director Melody Butts, who was embedded with the class!