By Connor Murphy, grade 8
Nestled in the beautiful redwoods and arching madrones near Mt. Madonna Park, you find the campus of Mount Madonna School, a private school serving students from preschool through twelfth grade. The school is also host to an annual event, Summit for the Planet, a festival held in the spring. The festival includes everything from a walk-a-thon and ecology displays to ice cream. It serves not only as a fundraiser, but an awareness campaign about Earth and us, and what we can do to take better care of our planet.
Arriving through the school’s gate at the very precipice of the day you see colorful banners and the whole Mount Madonna community getting ready for the five to fifteen kilometer hike. One of the main activities is the walk-a-thon, an amazing experience with a truly wonderful trail that takes you through huge redwoods and by some of the Mount Madonna community buildings. Also the course runs by an awesome pond and you might even see deer, turkeys and newts in their natural habitat!
Entering the campus festival area after the walk-a-thon, you’ll receive a fruit cup and see the Mount Madonna community performing, running booths and more, all for you. Some of the booths are affiliated with environmental organizations. You will also find an assortment of food stands, and my favorite activities in years past were dunk booths, an obstacle course, eco-carnival games, a solar car race, and the Trash Fashion show. There are also musical performances featuring student choirs from all grades as well as in some years, school bands.
Yet, the real secret to and beauty of the event goes beyond the activities: it is the community that we bring together every year. There is a bond that is formed between all of us attending the festival, both Mount Madonna families and the curious and interested public who attend. As a patron of this event, you are welcomed into our community, an experience I have been blessed with since I was three. This year I look forward to all the new booths and faces and the beautiful. What’s your favorite booth at the festival? Find me at the Summit for the Planet and tell me.