MELP moved from March to May two years ago allowing students to experience more outdoor adventures on their excursions.
Spencer Kuchle ’05
"One of the years for MELP we went to Vermont with Mr. Wade and stayed in a yurt for the week. We were off the grid, and it was definitely something I hadn’t experienced before. When we arrived at the site a lot of the supplies we needed weren’t there. While Mr. Wade was cooking dinner—a hodgepodge of stuff—we had to look for twigs and branches to use as chopsticks. After dinner, we washed our plates in the snow. Some of us had to get up occasionally to stoke the fire during the nights, but everyone got up early each morning. One of the days, we went mountain climbing. It was so icy that in order to keep climbing up, we had to hold on to trees and branches so we wouldn’t slide back down. Mr. Wade just kept trekking up through the snow and ice, and we had to keep up with him. When we got near the top, the snow was as deep as our chest in some places. You had to watch where you stepped. I lost a boot in the snow once and was lucky to find it. I was more careful after that. We were all super relieved to get to the top. It was a great accomplishment. I think everyone felt that way. We stayed up there in the snow for a little while. Since it was so icy, we got to ride our backpacks back down the trail. We had to be careful of where people had sunk into the snow, though. I’ll never forget it."
Chris Chambers ’10
"School could get chaotic. I had my ups and downs academically and some triumphs and challenges in sports. I tried to enjoy the experience overall. There were times that were more relaxing though. Mr. (Thomas) Washburn, one of my math teachers, was in charge of the fly fishing MELP. I’d never been fishing before. It was pretty cool. There was not a whole lot of action, and it was just six of us and Mr. Washburn. We learned how to string our own hooks and rods. We’d go find a local creek somewhere in Pomfret and fish for a few hours. We’d talk and watch the day go by. It was really okay to not be doing a lot. No stress."
Kenny Mills ’17
"I have always been fascinated by space since an early age. My interest was intensified when I had the opportunity to participate in MELP’s Fantasy of Flight and travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. I saw firsthand the benefits and engineering requirements that revolve around space exploration. Space provides so many opportunities for development and room for expansion. I have a specific interest in aerospace engineering, as it is one of the last final frontiers."
Steve Lanzit ’02
"It’s not something you’d think middle schoolers would find interesting, but we spent a week traveling around Vermont and exploring different bridges. We spent the whole MELP exploring various bridges! It was fascinating."