Freshman field trip offers new bonding experience

Class of 2025 connect through camp activities


Ayelet Prottas

Freshman Eva Taybior climbs to the top of the rock climbing wall at Base Camp Feb 17. All freshmen take a field trip to Bloomington to strengthen sense of community.

Abby Bartleson and Zoe Ziessman

According to the science teacher Erica Ellingson who helped chaperone said the field trip to Northern Star BSA Base Camp, was to help create a sense of community and teamwork throughout the 9th grade class. 

“I think the whole purpose of coming to Base Camp today was team building exercises, trying to increase a sense of community within the 9th grade class,” Ellingson said. “It’s all activities that require communication and teamwork and cooperation”.

Freshman Henry Berg said he really benefited socially from the 9th grade field trip to the base camp. 

“I was put in a group with a lot of people that I don’t know very well so I got to know more people in my grade,” Berg said. 

Freshman Meaghan Knight is happy to see the 9th grade connect and grow as one with the help of teamwork activities.

“We have had discrimination issues in our grade, in classes and I think this helps get away from school for a bit and connect as a community,” Knight said. “It’s good to see most of 9th grade having fun and interacting with each other and meeting new people you wouldn’t normally hang out with as well as working together as a team.”

I am hoping we see a shift in the 9th grade culture moving forward and I hope they do this for years to come

— Erica Ellingson

Ellingson said there were a variety of fun activities to do, many of them were activities students had never done before and were trying for the first time. 

There’s some really fun things. They’ve had a chance to do archery, my groups going climbing on the rockwall but they have also been doing some games and activities that are supposed to promote teamwork and solve different problems as a team,” Ellingson said. “One game they did is they had to get from point A to point B but the floor was lava so they had these carpet squares they had to put on the floor and try to get their whole team across without touching the lava.”

Freshman Eva Taybior said it has been hard to make connections throughout COVID-19 and this field trip helped regain connection with peers and come together.

“I think it is just to help build up our community and it has been really hard because of covid like we’ve all been very separated so this is kinda to help us come back together,” Taybior said.

In years past, St. Louis Park has had the 9th graders go on this field trip to help with leadership and communication skills but the field trip was put on pause just before COVID-19 but was reintroduced this year in hopes to reintroduce community. Ellingson hopes they continue this field trip in the future.

“It seems like the kids are really engaged today and are having a lot of fun. I think there has been more community building, we have been encouraging students to interact with people outside of their normal friend groups and stuff like that,” said Ellingson.“I am hoping we see a shift in the 9th grade culture moving forward and I hope they do this for years to come.”