This season has been a long one. Not just the cold days of winter, but the season of complete change our entire world has faced. The ripple effects of a global pandemic were certainly felt here at Penguin Hall even a year later

But as one season comes to an end, another one begins. The trees shake off their snowy sleeves for new buds. Birds return to their posts and resume their song. As humans, we have come to expect spring. It’s the cycle of life. However, this spring season brings forth new hope for Penguin Hall. Students from all grade levels have returned to campus, the COVID-19 vaccinations are rolling out, and the glimmer of hope after a season of unknowns begins to shine. 

On Monday, March 22, Penguin Hall welcomed its entire student body back to campus for fully in-person classes for the first time since March 2020–marking almost a full year. This was a momentous occasion and cause for celebration! While the first week back was a time of becoming reacquainted with the classwork after two weeks of Spring vacation, students were able to take time out of their rigorous academic schedules for some good, old-fashioned fun!

On Monday during“Good Morning APH,” our campus minister, Brigid Beckman, welcomed our returning students and kicked off our week with a reflection that welcomed hope as we turn to this new chapter at APH.

Students were surprised with every New Englander’s favorite treat, Dunkin Donuts! On Tuesday, munchkins were served in individual cups and students relished each chocolate and jam-filled donut as they talked and laughed in the spring sunshine, then heading back to class.

There’s just something about warm weather that beckons the muscles to get moving! On Wednesday, the Student Life team answered that call by providing various lawn games for students. Frisbee, Spikeball, and Four Square were just a few of the games students enjoyed but the big event was a rousing game of Wiffle Ball! There were never any designated teams. No one had an assigned position. Just the pure fun of hitting a ball with a bat and running around each base was enough to get everyone going. When the bell rang signaling the end of break time, no one wanted to leave “No-Rules Wiffle Ball,” now appropriately dubbed.

On Thursday, the weather turned a bit cloudy which was considerably poor timing for the day’s theme: Beach Blanket Breakfast. That didn’t stop our community, though! Inflatable beach balls, blankets around the South Lawn and pancakes, sausage and bacon on the menu for lunch was all students needed to have a memorable lunch period.

The week ended on Friday as students were given the most delightful treat: puppies and Popsicles! Every which way you looked, an excited puppy bounced from one student to the next with wagging tails.

As we closed our first week fully in-person, we are incredibly thankful for the resilience, teamwork, and dedication to health and safety that this community has shown. Now, let’s finish this school year stronger than ever!