Walk-Thru-Wednesdays starting this Fall at Archmere

Calling all Parents! New to our Admissions programming this year is Walk-Thru-Wednesdays, which will feature campus tours for parents occurring on Wednesday mornings in the Fall and Spring from 9:00- 10:30 am. Prospective 7th and 8th grade parents will have the opportunity to see classes in action and ask questions about Archmere while touring our beautiful 37 acre campus.

Please call Mrs. Erin Coomes at 302-798-6632 x 718 to sign-up!

!ArchmereQuad

Auks Rough It: Camping in Shenandoah

As the 11 boys finished piling into the swank-a-licious Archmere van that would take us 4 hours south to Big Meadows Campground at Shenandoah National Park, I realized that giving these Auks control of the aux cable could prove to be a huge, albeit poetic, mistake. Relieved that these boys actually have great taste in music (we jammed to CCR, tons of country and even T-Swift), I admit that I enjoyed the drive down despite the are-we-there-yets, which increased in frequency until we reached Skyline Drive. If you have never traveled on Skyline Drive, this is something I recommend that you add to your to-do list, bucket list, checklist, wish list, or the much more fun to say muistilista. Put it towards the top.

Each year, the other teachers and I look forward to this trip as the rising senior boys have an opportunity to bond with one another as they get away from the daily distractions of phone, internet, and social media. The slight irony of recounting this experience on a blog is not lost on me. Although they’d never admit it, this particular group of 29 boys seemed somewhat trepidatious when facing 4 days and 3 nights of tent camping since most of them had never spent a single night in a tent before.

Spectacular view from Hawksbill Summit

Amazing view from Hawksbill Peak

 

Over the course of our time in Shenandoah, the boys worked together in small groups to build campfires to cook dinner, hiked a total of 22 miles to some spectacular views, swam in pools of mountain spring water and climbed to the summit of Old Rag Mountain. There was live music each night at the Big Meadows Lodge and one night, a local performer named David Gilmore (not from Pink Floyd) invited the boys up to sing “Sweet Caroline” with him. Good times. 

Natural water slide into a deep pool

Natural water slide into a deep pool

The camping trip was both a novelty and a challenge, and by the end of the excursion, the boys felt a strong sense of accomplishment, community, and self reliance. They’ll bring these positive experiences and camaraderie to the Archmere community when we return to school in a few weeks. With that, I leave you with a few quotes: one boy said, “We went into the woods as boys, and now we emerge as men.” Not dramatic at all.  Another has learned to appreciate the comforts of a roof, central air, and his bed: “this was so much fun, I loved it! …never doing it again.” And finally, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau every time we head out on this excursion. He writes in Walden, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

The group at the summit of Old Rag

The group at the summit of Old Rag

Archmere is Thankful for Dedicated Teachers (and Students)!

Mr. Stephen Klinge has been teaching English at Archmere for 30 years.  Below, he comments on why he has dedicated his life’s work to teaching at Archmere. Thank you, Mr. Klinge, for three decades of inspiring and challenging English classes!

Archmere’s a good place for students; it’s also a good place for teachers. I started teaching here in 1984, twenty-three years old and fresh out of grad school. I’d gone to grad school because I wasn’t sure what to do with a college English major. I’d left grad school because I became more interested in teaching than in pursuing the politics of Ph.D.-level academics. I loved literature and liked writing, and I was eager to live in a world where I could share that appreciation with others.

Archmere turned out to be a perfect fit. I found mentors and role-models inside and outside the English department, teachers like Dave Barnard and Pat Appleton and Don Staley, Paul Clemens and Paul Pomeroy and Lou D’Angelo. I found a school with bright students who expected challenges, which meant I had to challenge myself. Or, more appropriately, which meant I could continually challenge myself.

I’m teaching Hamlet now in my junior classes, and I’ve taught it almost every year I’ve been at Archmere. The play still fascinates me, but what I find more exciting now is sharing the experience with bright students encountering it for the first time. And I love talking about good writing, both in literature and in student papers. Although I don’t want to think about the hours I’ve spent grading essays (those hours surely add up to months of my life by now), I believe in the value of what I do, which keeps me going when I resent the time grading all those research papers every year takes. (Note to my students: I wrote “even when I’m resentful of the time” and just revised it, omitting one to be verb and condensing the language. Revision helps. I believe that.)

Archmere’s a good place for a teacher to devote a life to for many of the same reasons it’s a good place for a student to devote four years to. It’s a supportive community that values learning, fosters creativity and promotes excellence. It’s a good place for teachers in part because it’s a good place for students.

And vice versa. – Steve Klinge

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Lady Auks climbed the mountain as a family

On November 10, 2014 Archmere Academy’s Varsity Girls’ volleyball team won the state championship after a 28 year drought. They didn’t win because they had a ringer. They didn’t win with power hitters. They won because they worked together as a team, as a family, and because when Auks fly together, they accomplish amazing things. Emily Dentinger, a member of the team, reflects on the win with a week’s worth of retrospect. 

 

The ball hit the ground.

It wasn’t like in the movies, when a moment of complete silence pervades the gym. It was just noise. So much noise. We had just won the State Championship, and we were screaming.

Looking back on the season, I don’t recall any signs of a championship team. We never spoke of the state title because, frankly, we did not think that we had a shot. Don’t get me wrong- we wanted to win. We just didn’t think we could.

On August 18th, the first day of practice, Coach told us that we had a mountain to climb. That statement meant that a.) the season was going to be a trek, and b.) we should all get on the end line to run a revised suicide, aptly called a ‘mountain.’ Our early practices were filled with high hopes, passionate determination, and, of course, tons of conditioning drills. As the season went on, something became very apparent. Not only did the players realize this, but so the coaches and other teams. We were not the best volleyball players in the state. We were athletic. We had heart. But we didn’t have a hitter that could put the ball away. We didn’t have power.

Attending a school with an extremely rigorous curriculum and extremely high standards taught me, above all things, that I have to acknowledge my weaknesses (and I have to manage my time, but that’s a different story). I have to acknowledge that integrating trig functions and finding the impulse of an elastic collision is not my strong point. I can’t pretend that I know what I’m doing. I can’t fake my way through a class.

That was the attitude of our team. We acknowledged that we had a fundamental weakness in the front row. We knew that we were not as strong as many of our opponents. I strongly believe that our acknowledgement of our weakness was the key to our success. Because we acknowledged this shortcoming, we were able to adapt. We didn’t accept our weakness, we worked through it.

That being said, the real strength of our team wasn’t a skill or a specific player or anything actually volleyball related. Our strength was our commitment to each other and our relationship as a team, both on and off the court. We are Auks. We are family. We trust each other and we need each other. Playing with this group of girls was easy in the sense that we had good chemistry on the court. Archmere is a haven for passionate people. I don’t think I could have asked for any more heart or dedication; each and every player was so invested in and devoted to this team and its success.

I mentioned at the beginning that every player on the team was screaming as the final ball dropped, resulting in our victory. Well fifteen screaming girls doesn’t account for the extremely high decibel level in that gym. Archmere is a family, and it was our family that was screaming from the stands, drowning out any and every other sound. Community isn’t a strong enough word to describe the Auks, it isn’t powerful enough to capture the essence of Archmere. When we didn’t believe that we, as a team, could win the state title, we had 600 fans and friends to believe for us. That is family.

— Emily Dentinger ’15

Vball