Waldorf schools around the world are gearing up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the movement’s founding in Stuttgart in 1919. Of the over 1,100 Waldorf schools and almost 2,000 Waldorf kindergartens in some 80 countries around the globe some are planning to celebrate with things like newly created pollinator gardens, community service projects, regional alumni gatherings, performances of original compositions created for the occasion and international postcard exchanges.
But (so far as we know) only one school is literally gearing up to celebrate – and that’s Richmond Waldorf School! Beginning at the top of the academic year on September 3rd, over a 4-day period the RWS 7th and 8th grade classes will bike 100 miles from Hancock, MD to Seneca, MD along the C&O Canal Trail Towpath. In keeping with the worldwide Waldorf 100 theme “Learn to Change the World” and an emphasis on service, the students will be collecting trash along the trail.
RWS bike program coordinator Glenn Amey and 7th grade class teacher Letitia Amey are leading the effort which will include 6-8 chaperones, 3 vans, and 2 cars with trailers for bikes and gear. Several of the chaperones will follow the group in support vehicles and will meet up with them each evening with gear and food for overnight camping.
In a journey this long, the kids are bound to learn new lessons in self-reliance and develop a strong sense of group camaraderie. The instructors want the riders to embrace the unexpected and open themselves to the novelty of life on the trail. It is hoped that each rider gains a greater appreciation of the unplanned discoveries and experiences – from bald eagles soaring overhead to flat tire fixes on the go – that make life an adventure.
The students will return home the evening of September 6th presumably pleased and exhausted and ready for some brain work after all that leg work. You can follow their progress via the RWS Facebook feed. We will be sure to share pictures, reflections, and more about their adventure!