Into the Frost Valley Woods

Into the Frost Valley Woods

Moving Mountains to Visit Frost Valley in 2021

  • While 2020 had been an unprecedented year on a global scale, in Sayville School District adjustments had to be made to accommodate social-restriction protocols and a host of precautions to prevent further spread of the pandemic. This had meant postponing or modifying traditional milestones for the students, including the forty-year tradition of Frost Valley.

    Now in 2021, the school environment has been inching closer to normal. Guidelines for returning to the YMCA Environmental Educational program, once clarified, gave this year’s Eighth Grade class the opportunity to have the class-bonding, memorable and positive life-changing Frost-Valley experiences. 

    But what about last year’s Eighth Graders who missed out? Sayville School District made additional plans to give this year’s Ninth-Grade Class the trip they did not have, so for the forty-first year of the tradition, both classes went to Frost Valley on a staggered schedule. 

    During their trips to Frost Valley, the Sayville students, chaperoned by select Middle School and High School staff, learned team-building skills, hiked the extensive outdoor educational facility and explored such activities as orienteering with a traditional compass and map, forest ecology, geology, night awareness, a visit from the "Bird Man," who delighted students with his collection of rescued local birds. 

    "And, of course, there was Ms. Amella's karaoke night," High School English teacher Mr. Doug Shaw recalled with a smile, adding that "Sayville's social-and-emotional learning program—S.T.R.I.D.E.S.—was integrated into every aspect of the three-day program, which was carefully planned and managed by a team of teachers spearheaded by Middle School teacher Mr. Papalia.  The programs were led by a team of over thirty Sayville teachers: some veterans like Mr. Anzalone and Mr. Brown, who have been leading hikes to High Falls and across the Neversink River for over twenty years, and some new teachers, like Ms. Wrede and Mr. DeCicco, who will surely take up the reins of the trip in years to come, ensuring that future generations of Sayville students will have their 'Frost Valley Experience.'" 

    The annual trip to Frost Valley has been a privilege that generations of students have experienced and remains one of the most memorable activities the students will share in their educational journey through Sayville Schools.