From trips to New York City and amusement parks to guest performances and local excursions, the weekend activities at Ross are assorted and exciting.
Every weekend students embark on a new adventure. Activities are planned based on input from students, faculty, and house parents. Excursions that take part in the vibrant culture of nearby New York City can include opportunities to learn more about culture and society. For example, students have explored the Museum of Modern Art and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, attended performances at Radio City Music Hall, and relaxed in cafés and bookstores.
“They provide a wide range of choices in activities and trips. On some of the trips, we receive more knowledge about art and history, and on others we just have fun, like laser tag. They pick things that interest the students,” said tenth grader Justin Liu.
Trips that focus more on relaxing and cultural immersion include sporting events such as professional baseball or basketball games, horseback riding on trails in Montauk, apple or pumpkin picking on local farms, and ice skating. Sometimes the events take place at the school, such as when a hypnotist worked his magic on volunteers in the audience earlier this year. “The hypnotist was really funny,” reported ninth grader Jin Zhang.
“Our school has many more choices than other schools; other schools just have dinner or movies; we have shopping or laser tag or Six Flags [amusement park],” said tenth grader Serena Kim.
The activities also offer the international students a chance to practice their English. “They spend five days a week at school, so getting out and even interacting with tellers and servers and custodians, they’re using their English, engaging with their peers, and mixing up their houses because they are socializing with students who aren’t their roommates,” said T.J. Mackey, director of Residential Life. “They are getting exposed to different people, different experiences, and different countries and breaking out of that shell.”
The experience is ultimately humanizing for everyone involved as students, teachers, and house parents get to know and enjoy one another outside the bounds of academia. And in the end, it is satisfying to know that students have been given the break they needed to recharge and refocus on their studies.
“It’s nice when kids have fun and they come back smiling and energized. It feels good when you know they’ve had a rewarding experience,” said T.J.