Ninth graders prepare for NOLS Arrow Week


Photo credit: Emma London

Archer Freshman (class of ’22) wait for their meeting to begin. The meeting discussed all aspect of their upcoming NOLS trip.

As spring approaches, the freshman class is preparing for their ninth grade Arrow Week expedition, which will take place from March 15 to March 22. On Monday, Jan. 14, freshmen had a meeting to discuss everything from what gear they will need to how hiking groups will be made.

The expedition is run by the National Outdoor Leadership School [NOLS] each year for seventh, ninth, and 11th-grade classes. The classes split into smaller hiking groups, which backpack through either Arizona or New Mexico.

“I’m a little apprehensive about Arrow Week,” freshman Thea Leimone said. “It’s a whole week out in the wilderness. I’m also a little nervous about the groups, but I’m excited because I’ve done a couple trips like this before. It’ll be a new opportunity, and I’m excited to meet new people.”

Because a majority of Archer students have been on at least one NOLS trip, younger students often receive advice or hear rumors from older students.

“I’ve heard that a lot of people make friendships with people they never thought they would,” freshman Andrea Ramirez said. “I’ve also heard it’s really fun and challenging in some ways, but that [the challenge] makes it fun.”

Students have heard about some of the challenges faced during Arrow Week, such as hygiene, but remain “excited” about the new experience.

“I’ve heard a couple rumors about using the bathroom…if you’re on your period…the girls who did it in seventh grade sometimes talk about how gross it gets,” Leimone said. “But I’m looking forward to meeting new people and just exploring new places.”