George School students Claire Kinnel and Greta Karr, and faculty/adult advisers Scott and Susan Hoskins, all members of Newtown Quaker Meeting, will talk about their recent George School service learning trip to Nepal on Sunday May 14 at 9:45 a.m. at Newtown Quaker Meeting, 219 Court Street. Traditional Quaker Meeting for worship based on expectant silence follows at 11:00. The public is invited to attend all events.
It was George School’s first service learning trip to Nepal. It lasted for 18 days and included 16 students and 3 adults. The project was based in Dhampus, 200 km west of Kathmandu, a small rural village where the group assisted the school community in repairing and painting the retaining wall for the two new classrooms added to the Janapriya Primary School.
Other George School students on the trip were Serena Bentley, Shawn Bankoff, Jillian Mikula, Will Bein, Faith Boucher, Shad Coles, Talia Hawkins, Yasmeen Malik, Yasmina Cobrinik, Tenzin Nangsa, Sundar Pratt, Kiany Probherbs, Royalti Richardson and Charles Ryan.
One supervisor commented in her blog during the trip that: “The students have been amazing. Everyone has stretched to a personal limit, from the weight of a rock to carry, to using a squat privy, to trekking for 7 hours. The students have worked very hard. They tumble into their tents between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. and camp is silent by 9:30 p.m. They cannot believe it, nor can they believe that they get up for sunrise! Their day starts with hot tea, then washing up basins. They have discovered how to get clean in less than a quart of water, to wear the same work clothes for a week, and to tolerate dirt.”
The George School students worked alongside Nepalese villagers and quite often got to interact with the children. Again, a comment from the blog: “The George School students had great fun playing with the children, teaching English words and demonstrating their new Nepali language skills. Several of the kids would race down to our camp after school every day to try to get into a soccer or volleyball game with our group. Many George School students found a child or two they connected with.”
Following eight days of helping build foundation walls, the George School students hiked into the lower foothills of the great Annapurna massif, trekking for four days through traditional Hindu villages to enjoy spectacular views of the mountains. The trails were lined with lush oak and rhododendron forests, and overnight campsites often showcased dramatic views of the Annapurna Range. The group then enjoyed a few days of shopping in Kathmandu and sightseeing at Hindu and Buddhist temples before flying home.
Community Service is a vital part of a George School education and the Quaker School runs several service learning trips each year in the US and abroad as well as sponsoring service projects throughout the year with local Bucks County organizations. Each student is expected to do 65 hours of service work prior to graduation.
The Quaker co-ed college preparatory boarding and day school in Newtown is well known for its rigorous academics, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, Quaker values, and universal student requirements in athletics and the arts as well as in community service. Its 529 students come from 23 states and 43 countries with a faculty/ student ratio of 1 to 7.
George School teacher and group co-leader, Scott Hoskins, has taught scenic and lighting design, theatrical production and film production, as well as serving for five years as the Arts Department Head. He plans to retire from George School at the end of this school year. Scott is a graduate of Earlham College in Richmond IN, and a member of Newtown Monthly Meeting. His wife, Susan, is the Executive Director of the Princeton Senior Resource Center, Clerk (Head) of Newtown Quaker Meeting, a graduate of George School and Earlham College. They are the parents of two George School graduates.
Newtown Friends Meeting co-founded by “Peaceable Kingdom” painter and Quaker minister, Edward Hicks, in 1815, is open to all who wish to attend. Regular First Day Education classes (Sunday School) for all ages begin at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship begins at 11 a.m. Childcare is provided.