Tuesday, October 23, was Form Day at St. Mark's. This annual event gives each class a different extracurricular experience. The III Form attended a program on Global Citizenship, including a viewing of the film "The End of Poverty" followed by debriefing discussions about the film and examining the worldwide issue of hunger. The IV Form took on a variety of community service projects, working with different organizations and projects such as Habitat for Humanity, Project Just Because, the Marlborough Boys and Girls Club, the Baypath Humane Society, the Southborough Fire and Police Departments, and the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center. The VI Form utilized the time to visit colleges and to work on college applications. A highlight of the day was the V Form trip to Brantwood Camp in Peterborough, NH.
Brantwood is the oldest, longest continuing service outreach program associated with St. Mark's School. Over the last 92 years, almost 2000 St. Markers have worked at Brantwood, helping to provide a summer camp experience for more than 5000 campers from a wide variety of backgrounds, but primarily from urban, inner-city, low-income families. Most often between their V and VI Form years, but sometimes as rising V Formers, St. Mark's volunteers spend two weeks at Brantwood. Some then have returned to serve on the Camp's permanent staff.
Founded in 1904 as a fresh air camp for boys from Episcopal parishes in the Boston area, Brantwood was forced to close its doors during the First World War due to lack of adult manpower to staff the program. After the war, the Camp's principal trustee was looking for a way to memorialize her son-- a St. Marker killed in the war-- just as St. Mark's was looking for a way to provide an ongoing community service operation for the largest number of its students. In 1920, Brantwood reopened as an independent operation under the sponsorship of St. Mark's, beginning a 92-year tradition that continues to this day. Fourteen St. Markers have been Directors of Brantwood during that time, while currently there are eleven St. Markers on the Brantwood Board of Trustees.
At Brantwood this past Tuesday, more than 90 V Formers participated in leadership discussion activities run by Director of Residential Life and Associate Dean of Students Stacy Lee. They also toured both the Boys' and Girls' Camp facilities, led by Boys' Camp Director Adam Marcoux and former Brantwood Director Nick Noble '76, now a member of the St. Mark's Communications staff. Three current V Formers-- Ryan Alipour, Colton Hiler, and Jack Trevor-- all with experience as Brantwood volunteers, also contributed their insights.
For a complete gallery of photos from this year's V Form visit to Brantwood, go to http://www.stmarksschool.org/album-list/album-detail/index.aspx?LinkID=1803&ModuleID=266