With the ring of the bell at 2:46 pm on March 15, students snapped closed their books and headed for the Commons to celebrate. Spring break was finally upon them, which meant that many of them would soon embark on one of seven school-sponsored travel opportunities.
From March 18-29, 12 students of Chinese (grades 10 through 12) and two faculty chaperones visited the culturally rich cities of Beijing, Xi’an and Luoyang — all of which were capitals of multiple ancient dynasties and at the same time are booming modern cities. They explored the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, temples (such as the Temple of Heaven), the Terra Cotta Army, the Longmen Grottoes, etc. They also worked on collaborative language and culture projects with students from Dandelion Middle School in Beijing. They stepped out of their comfort zone to learn and use the Chinese language, taste Chinese food, navigate through public transportation, explore snack streets, interact with locals, teach their own culture, build cross-cultural friendships, and immerse themselves in the long history and rich culture of China.
Italy from a Classicist's Perspective
Twenty-one Latin students (grades 10 through 12) traveled to Italy, staying in Rome and Cuma, just outside Naples. The group, led by classics and English faculty, visited numerous archaeological sites, scaled Mount Vesuvius, and explored St. Peter's final resting place beneath the Vatican. Excursions included the hill town of Orvieto, the island of Capri, and a World War II cemetery beneath Monte Cassino. Food was of paramount importance, culminating in dinner at the birthplace of Fettuccine Alfredo. The Classics Department leads the next trip to Italy for its students in 2020.
Montgomery Plan Service Trip
On Sunday, March 18, 27 students and five faculty chaperones caught an Amtrak train to Chicago, where they saw that community service comes in many shapes and sizes:
- Monday: In the morning, students volunteered in preschool classrooms at Erie Neighborhood House. Later in the day, they wielded loppers and saws to remove invasive Asian honeysuckle and European buckthorn from a habitat known as an "ephemeral wetland."
- Tuesday: Working at Cradles to Crayons in the morning, some students in the group sorted and cleaned donated shoes while others fulfilled the Kid Pack requests of Chicago students. In the afternoon, students served about 200 shoppers representing hundreds more in their households at an outdoor food pantry. They prepared the food for distribution, helped clients who came to the pantry, and did all the cleanup and recycling afterwards.
- Wednesday: In the morning, students learned about the services for homeless young adults at La Casa Norte and prepared a homemade feast for the shelter residents, sorted donated items for display/distribution, helped with an Earth Day art project, and did cleaning around the shelters' offices and daytime drop-in area. They also toured the agency's Logan Square shelter, which provides beds for young adults as well as a separate space for expectant mothers and their children. In the afternoon, the students visited The Anti-Cruelty Society, where they made enrichment toys for dogs and cats, then helped socialize some puppies and toured the facility.
Spring Break Training
Boys Lacrosse: Twenty-one varsity and junior varsity boys lacrosse players participated in the team's sixth annual trip to Walt Disney World for five days of great lacrosse, team building and roller coaster rides. The trip was open to all upper school boys lacrosse players, regardless of skill or team placement. Training included three games against strong varsity teams from the East Coast and two high-intensity practices, the last of which ended with a memorable competition for the best group celebration, which included the human limbo and a gold medal curling team. Two coaches and 10 parent chaperones accompanied the group.
Girls Lacrosse: Twenty-two varsity and junior varsity girls lacrosse players traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, on March 30 and 31. The students played a game on Friday night against St. George's Independent School; had a pizza dinner with St. George's afterwards; and went to Mempops, a local, specialty popsicle place. On Saturday morning, the team played St. Mary's Episcopal School.
Baseball: Twenty baseball Bombers travelled to Port St. Lucie, Florida, for their annual spring training. While in Florida both the junior varsity and varsity teams played games against high schools from the East Coast. In addition to a full slate of games and practices, the team enjoyed beach time, movies, bowling and the opportunity to bond with fellow teammates.
Boys Tennis: The boys varsity tennis team travelled to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to play in the prestigious DecoTurf national tennis tournament on March 16 and 17. There were 48 teams from across the country and Burroughs was placed in the B bracket, which was the top 9-16 teams in the tournament. The Bombers finished with a sixth place bracket finish, 14th overall. The team competed at the end of spring break on March 30 and 31 in the Edwardsville Tiger Invitational with 42 teams from across the Midwest. Burroughs finished in the top four as the tournament was called due to weather.
No student should fail to investigate travel based on financial need. Thanks to the generosity of a number of alumni and friends of the school, Burroughs is able to offer support for families of all income levels. For more information, contact Debbie Drummond.