Inside Camp Bernie

Olivia Siegal, Staff Writer

Freshmen attended Morristown-Beard’s annual retreat at the YMCA Camp Bernie in Port Murray, New Jersey on August 29th. This full-day retreat took place as part of the two-day freshman orientation program. 

Class of 2023 Dean Kevin McDonald said, “The goal is to serve as an orientation for kids to engage with one another outside of the classroom.”  

He explained that there were different outdoor team-building and bonding activities, including a challenging ropes course with “opportunities for the kids to do high rope challenges and achieve some of the things that maybe they didn’t know they could do and be part of a team to help them get up to the top.” 

“There was also some downtime to get to know one another,” Dean McDonald added.

In addition to the ropes course, activities included a climbing tower and a hike. The bus left for Camp Bernie at 7:30 AM and returned to campus at 6:15 PM.

I enjoyed the spirit everyone had on the ropes course.

— Matt Wang '23

“It was awesome but long. I made a lot of friends and I learned a lot of things from the teachers and the students,” commented Dylan Locke ‘23. He said that the most memorable aspects of the day were “team building and just talking about respect, in general.”

Sasha Proper ‘23 said, “I made friends through Camp Bernie, which was nice. I had fun.”

Matt Wang ‘23 stated that he “got to meet new kids and make new friends. I enjoyed the spirit everyone had during the ropes course. I really liked the challenging ropes, seeing it gave us difficulty but once our group could figure it out, it filled us with satisfaction. Also, the hike was fun and had a nice view.”

Hailey Rollins ‘23 commented, “My favorite part of Camp Bernie would have to be the low ropes course. It was really fun to get to know the people in my group as we succeeded, but mostly failed, at trying to get across. But, all in all, I made many new friends and memories!”

The YMCA camp is located in northern Hunterdon County, just under 28 miles from Morristown-Beard School.  It encompasses 285 acres with forests, hills, and streams that feed into the Musconetcong River.  

 “It was a great day,” said Dean McDonald. “The kids were engaged throughout. It was a success.”