Coping with an unpredictable illness, Joei has learned to appreciate the lessons life has to offer.
Athletics and Activity Block
During the Athletics and Activity Block of our weekly schedule, Pingry Middle School students can select from a wide range of interscholastic sports and team and physical activities, guided by the requirements outlined below.
- Dance Rhythms
- Drum Line
- Interscholastic Sports
- Middle School Musical
- Outdoor Education
- P.E. Fit
- Science Olympiad
- Sports Academy
- Theater Tech
- Ultimate Frisbee
In this Intro to Dance Rhythms course, students learn a blend of American, Latin-Caribbean, Afro-Cuban dance rhythms from around the world and perform them to music. Social dance forms such as dancing in circles, with partners, in unison with a group, or in a line will be explored. Special emphasis will be placed on the salsa rueda style of dance which combine elements from dances such as the cha cha and mambo. Enjoy dancing to music from around the globe and learn footwork that will allow you to enjoy dance rhythms in popular music. Students will gain confidence so they can join in the fun the next time they go to a dance. Students will be encouraged to choreograph their own dances and to adapt to different dance styles.
The Pingry outdoor adventure team will explore the wild areas of the Pingry campus and beyond. Guided by experienced wilderness “coaches,” participants will learn valuable backcountry skills, including map-and-compass, route-finding, fire-building, backcountry cooking, basic plant and animal identification, risk identification and management (safety in the backcountry), team care (pace-setting, group dynamics, etc.), trip-planning, and Leave No Trace principles. On most days, Pingry’s Outdoor Leadership team will “practice” during the normal middle-school athletics period on the beautiful “back forty” of the Basking Ridge campus, which includes nearly one-hundred acres of woods, streams, and pastures. Approximately once a week, participants will travel to nearby parks such as Chimney Rock, the Great Swamp, and Hacklebarney to apply the skills learned on campus to different environments. These will be the equivalent of “game days” for other sports teams.
In addition, students will be required to participate in their choice of at least one of three major trips to assess their growth as wilderness adventurers:
- A campout at the Pingry campsite. This experience will assess Leave No Trace, fire-building, cooking, and skills associated with basic camping equipment setup and use.
- A weekend day hike in mountainous terrain. This hike in Norvin Green or Harriman state parks will assess map-reading, route-finding, and group management skills in physically challenging terrain.
- A two-day backpacking trip. This end-of-course backpacking experience in Harriman State Park will test participants’ abilities to plan and lead their own wilderness trip. Students will be required to demonstrate the ability to plan a route, create a nutritious menu suitable for the backcountry, identify and manage risks, and lead fellow students on challenging mountain terrain.
Students will be in the Greig Family Strength And Conditioning Center (from 2:10 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.) learning the basics of productive exercise. All students will start with a fitness and movement assessment. Once a baseline of fitness is established students will work on improving their muscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and movement patterns common in athletics. Each student will learn about progressive exercises starting with how to control one's’ body weight and progressing to using barbells and dumbbells. In addition, ample time will be devoted to discussing performance nutrition and the importance of sleep and recovery. A variety of active P.E. games and activities will be incorporated during the second half (2:50 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.) of each class period.
Science Olympiad (SO) is a competitive activity where Middle School students prepare during the fall and winter trimesters for twenty-six events in all of the science, technology, and engineering fields. Each student selects an average of two events to work on and compete in with a partner. Several of the events include designing, building, and testing contraptions to accomplish various tasks. Some of these include an elastic launched glider plane, a balsa wood tower, and a hovercraft. Other events involve studying various science disciplines, such as mineralogy, astronomy, anatomy and physiology, and answering questions at the competitions. Still others are a combination of hands-on work and a test, such as Crime Busters, and Wind Power. There is a Regional Competition in early January at one of the local Community Colleges, and the State Final in mid-March. Students are excused from school on those days to represent Pingry at these competitions.
During the Fall Trimester, the Science Olympians meet after school from 3:30 – 5:00 pm approximately three times per week. During the Winter Trimester, Science Olympiad will meet Monday – Thursday from 2:10 – 3:30 pm. SO will count as their PE option, and the participants will not be able to join a winter interscholastic team. Students must commit to both the fall and winter terms of Science Olympiad. As the State competition approaches, meetings will also occur after school.
Sports Academy will run a variety of sports experiences in 2-3 week units. The students will have the opportunity to participate and learn the basic skills, rules, concepts and game strategies in a selection of the sports that Pingry offers at the interscholastic level. There are three main objectives for Sports Academy. First, the course is designed to introduce the diverse interscholastic sport offerings that students will choose to build a broad foundation of skills and experiences Second, the course strives to reinforce habits that demonstrate responsibility and accountability through athletics – thus maximizing the safety and future success of our students. Finally, P.E. is designed to be fun and to allow students to develop and display passion for athletics and fitness (as well as Pingry School spirit) in an atmosphere that emphasizes sportsmanship and team unity.
- The fall season will include units in soccer, flag football, tennis, squash, and cross country.
- Winter includes basketball, fencing, floor hockey and/or field hockey, and wiffle ball.
- Spring includes swimming, water polo, Tennis, squash, track and field and lacrosse.
Every year in the spring trimester the Middle School puts on a musical and students are responsible for all aspects of the production, including tech. This is an opportunity to learn all about and be responsible for the lighting, set design and construction, sound, etc. All students are welcome to participate and be part of this exciting behind-the-scenes team.
This course is designed to empower young teens with practices they can use to create healthy bodies and minds. Today we live in a very fast paced and digital world, with implicit and explicit expectations of achievement. This can create stress which affects the ability of young people to learn, grow, and thrive. We will develop skills to handle stress, maintain emotional balance, and develop empathy for self and others. Physical poses and flowing movements which connect the poses will strengthen, stabilize, and open up the body, creating a sense of vitality and well-being. Breathing exercises, games, visualizations will open up the senses and allow for a feeling of being present, one breath at a time, in a safe space. Yoga, along with relaxation and meditation, has been scientifically proven to increase brain health. Everyday, we will explore ways to relax, nourishing our own lives and enriching the lives of others in the process.