These past few days, you have likely seen a good deal of snow - whether in your own backyard, or on Grand River Academy's website and social media pages! Needless to say, we're used to the multiple feet of snow and near 0 degree temperatures that accompany living so close to Lake Erie during the winter months. Often, the special quality of winter is overlooked by those of us who have spent a good amount of time here in Austinburg.
Many of our young men will arrive to campus completely oblivious to the winter that will soon engulf campus. So much so that they do not even pack a jacket or gloves! Soon into November and December however, the trips to the mall are filled with purchases of warm apparel. Much like introducing our international guys to s'mores over a campfire, the first snow of the season is always exciting, especially since for many of our international students, it is the very first time they are experiencing snow.
For me though, winter is more than just watching students throwing a snow ball...and learning it's not best to do so during the school day. It's the memories we make together during this joyful season. I still remember my Senior year, where one night after study hall in North Hall, many of the guys got together and started to make a snow fort in the quad by the Victory Bell. I took some pictures and helped a little, but more so I just watched and observed as I often do. What I saw was vital - it was bonding together as brothers and creating memories through laughter and fun.
We all knew that the snow would soon melt, so the point of making a fort was rather moot (it melted the next day if I remember right), but that wasn't the point. It was just fun. It was guys who lived in the same dorm, being outside in 10 degree weather, hulling big chucks of snow and ice around having a good time together. A quick look at my picture and you'll see we were genuinely happy out there in the frosty conditions.
If it is making a snow fort, having a snow ball fight, or as many alumni will remember building a ski ramp off of Armington's steps- winter has provided us with many opportunities for bonding and memories over the years. As winter builds here on campus this year, I am excited to see how this group of guys take advantage of the snow and cold to build relationships and make memories like so many have before them!