Reclaiming Their Campus

It’s been about a month since we re-opened our campus to students, and what a wonderful month it has been. Most of our students had not seen each other in person since March, and seeing them reunite and catch up has made the months and months of preparation worth it. I could share countless anecdotes, so I’ll mostly let the pictures do the talking. Still, one story has really stayed with me.

Last year forts were IN at Fairhaven School. Multiple groups had built their own settlements in the woods along various sides of our big field. When the pandemic hit and we had to close our campus, nature took over the forts. By the summer, the paths were completely grown over. Their structures looked like they belonged to some vanished civilization, lost to time.


When we re-opened our campus, the students who had built those forts immediately began reclaiming what they had lost. At the settlements of Headwood and Willowstone they pulled out weeds, cut down tall grass, and moved fallen branches. Within the first three days, these and other intrepid students had returned the forts back to their pristine, pre-pandemic splendor. Of course, now they’ve added to the structures, to their worlds.


And it’s not just the fort builders. Our Grounds Committee decided to start a garden in the middle of the driveway circle, and students got to work on weeding that area as well.


When do you ever see kids eagerly pulling up weeds, for hours on end? When they have ownership over their projects, their school, and their lives, that’s when! No staff told them to clean up the grounds, or even suggested it. Rather, they were the ones invested in the process. The forts were theirs to reclaim, a fitting metaphor for reclaiming the Fairhaven lives they’d temporarily lost and have now resumed.



For every picture, another story:




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