Woodlands: COVID Edition

By Ethan Ramchand ’25
Woodlands: COVID Edition

“Splash,” and with that sound a Form II teacher fell into the cold waters of the Potomac. The situation was not all fun, games, and flipping your teacher’s paddle-board, though. Now Dr. Schiller was after me, and aided by the betrayal of my classmates, I too became “one with the river” (well, Seneca Creek, actually). This experience from the infamous Form II Woodlands Trip should be familiar to many who have experienced it in years past. Typically a four-night sleepaway trip that marks the end of the school year, Woodlands: COVID Edition took a day camp format. The Class of 2025 was not able to have the regular overnight experience, but what we did have, will be talked about for years to come.

Each day of the three-day program began with a half-hour bus drive to the groups’ respective locations along the Potomac. The program included kayaking, hiking, fishing, an excursion to Adventure Island, and stand-up paddle boarding. The final day was a form-wide whitewater rafting trip, in which we were joined by Mr. Chandler. After arriving at our locations, the groups were given safety instructions and general information for their activity. After hours of kayaking, hiking, fishing, or paddle boarding, the students once again returned to the buses for the ride back to campus.

We had amazing weather throughout the week, with temperatures rising to the low 90s. The skies were clear, and students had close-up encounters with a bald eagle, a great blue heron, and a roaring Black Hawk helicopter on Wednesday afternoon. Whitewater rafting also included checking out Great Falls and carrying our rafts, which provided a good, yet heavy, team building experience. The rafts of students raced, went through the rapids backwards, flipped over both intentionally and unintentionally, and splashed water at other rafts. Finally, the entire group of students, teachers, and staff met to debrief and say their goodbyes.
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.