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The hands-on and collaborative activities GMS girls experience in the classroom are enriched by a variety of day and overnight trips, where science, literature, history, art, and language come to life. Time together away from the classroom also strengthens friendships and class community. Students progressively take trips farther from home throughout their time at GMS, culminating their off-campus experiences with international travel.
Sixth-graders begin their year with a multi-day camping trip at a nearby county or state park. Along with their teachers (no parents allowed!), the girls set up tents, cook food, go for hikes, play games, engage in leadership activities, host a talent show, and begin long-lasting friendships. The bonds created on the camping trip support the first few months of classroom cooperative group work. Later in the year, 6th graders attend an overnight science camp at the Marin Headlands Institute north of Sausalito. A variety of day trips also complement the curriculum, including visits to the SomArts Cultural Center, the Asian Art Museum, and the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge.
Seventh-graders travel to Washington, DC, in the spring to reinforce their understanding of American government and history. At the height of cherry blossom season, the girls explore the significance of the monuments and memorials throughout the city. Tours of important centers for government, including the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, and the White House help bring the abstract notions of democracy, rights, and liberty to life. The girls also have opportunities to explore the many museums in the city, both within and outside of the National Mall favorites include the National Museum of American History, the Newseum, and the International Spy Museum.
Eighth graders participate in the ultimate cultural immersion experience through international travel. Armed with two years of Spanish instruction and a two-day on-campus language and culture immersion, they embark on a 10-day journey to El Molino, a camp in Erongarícuaro, Michoacán. Workshops in local ecology, traditional arts and crafts, and music are conducted solely in Spanish. Camp participants from other schools include fluent Spanish speakers. Whether playing soccer, learning to make jewelry, or bartering in the town square, GMS girls extend their language skills and broaden their cultural horizons. This intense international travel experience also strengthens the friendships and bonds between the eighth graders, cementing the foundation for strong, effective, and creative collaboration during their final year at The Girls’ Middle School.