Well, it’s a wrap for 2023, and it was a good one – a VERY good one.
By Thursday’s conclusion, everyone had been on a lift and so many had graduated to new levels of skiing that the entire group of 8th graders this year was one of the farthest achieving in recent memory. It was a pleasure for us to share in their success, especially those who made giant leaps from their “beginner” status. In many cases, the students truly pushed their comfort levels on the slopes, and we are very hopeful that that will translate into reaching new degrees of comfort and confidence in their future intellectual and social undertakings as well. (But please don’t expect each and every one of your children to clear the table on a nightly basis.)
The last several days were quite eventful, with more class-led activities, a sing-along with Mr. Weiss, and Wednesday night’s traditional crowning of the “Heroes of the Ski Trip”, won by 8c after impressive demonstrations of lip-synching, love letter writing, a ready-for-ski fashion show and other ridiculous activities requiring varying degrees of dexterity. (Your children can invite you to play along – don’t hurt yourselves!)
One of my favorite memories of the past week, however, was observing one of our skiers come to the rescue of a small child who had become separated from his parents on the slopes. She calmly gained the young boy’s confidence and gently guided him down a challenging slope while her teammates watched and applauded the tearful reunion at the bottom. This demonstration of encouragement and helpfulness was evident within the groups both on the slopes and back at the hotel and surely contributed to the overall success of the trip. Was it perfect? Of course not. But judging by the frequent laughter (or in the case of one of my rooms, inexhaustible giggling), the kids enjoyed their time together, engaged in some great discussions (when separated from their cell phones) and even created some wonderfully zany experiences which may be better left unexplained (but thanks, Room 110!).
Seeing students reunited with their respective families on Friday evening is always heartwarming, and then shortly afterward we teachers get to enjoy the same. We were delighted to be greeted with expressions of appreciation from the parents for which we are most grateful. But our biggest thanks must go to Herr Mueller for the countless hours he gives throughout the year (not to mention very long nights during the ski trip) and his steady leadership of ensuring the safety and encouraging the growth of 135 unique individuals while keeping his teaching staff motivated to give your children their best. It cannot be easy, but after 35 years, his experience shines brighter with each year. We hope your children have grown in many ways as a result of their experience in Zillertal! Servus!