Middle School Community Day

September 23, 2014- On the car ride back to school, after spending the morning volunteering at the Edward’s Thrifty Shoppe, a group of eighth grade students reflected on how their work cleaning dust from shelves could help the store and ultimately the community at large. The conversation started with a discussion of the relationship between a clean, well-organized retail environment and increased sales. From there, it segued to a lesson in the economics of small non-profits and how volunteer labor allows such organizations to extend the reach of each dollar they raise.

Last Friday, the entire middle school spent the morning volunteering at nearby non-profits during Middle School Community Day. Students, faculty and staff gave of their time at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Eagle River Watershed Council, Eagle Horse Rescue, Eagle Vail Community Garden, Mountain Montessori, Eagle Thrifty Shoppe, Gore Range Montessori, Edwards Thrifty Shoppe, Eagle Animal Shelter, and Childrens' Garden of Learning. They shoveled manure, tended gardens, read to children, planted trees, and cleaned shelves among many other tasks assigned.

Later that day, groups of students and faculty competed as color coded teams in a middle school version of field day. Light hearted competitions included soccer, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, bocce, and a “relay eating contest” complete with treats and twists. In the end, the Pink Team emerged victorious taking home the coveted Middle School Field Day Trophy, which consists of a Darth Vader helmet, some spandex, and a few other random items mounted on a stick.

This annual tradition is one of the ways that VMS students give back to the local community and build a sense of community within their own peer group.

About Vail Mountain School

Founded in 1962, Vail Mountain School is a K-12, coed, independent school in Vail, Colorado. Our philosophy is to provide a demanding, college preparatory, liberal arts education in an atmosphere of mutual respect between faculty and students, where nurturing a healthy self-concept and stimulating academic inquiry are parallel objectives. Intentionally designed cross-age programs promote role modeling, responsibility, self confidence, and a sense of community. Our location in the Rocky Mountains allows us to integrate the outdoors into the academic and cultural fabric of the school through hut trips, all-school Ski Fridays, and other experiential learning opportunities. The result: our graduates possess a quiet confidence that serves them well in college and in life—confidence to assert themselves in their first college level essays; to raise their hand in a class of hundreds; to live on their own for the first time, to meet with and engage their professors; and to lead among their peers.