The 2015-2016 school was the debut year of a new program at Riverdale: Saturday Adventures. This program was the brainchild of the Head of Upper School Dr. Kelley Nicholson-Flynn, who thought that it might be enjoyable for faculty and students to partake in fun weekend activities together. She enlisted dance and film chair Ms. Laura Desmond to spearhead the activity. Ms. Desmond happily undertook the challenge of planning interesting and fun programming, as “we did a test last year to get a sense of interest in the community,” she said.
On Saturday May 21, 2016, she and her fellow faculty representatives, strength and conditioning coach Ms. Roberta MacIvor and global studies assistant Ms. Naiomy Mota, decided to test the new program and took several students to see the Broadway play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.” At the end of the production, they went to a nearby diner and had milkshakes and fries to discuss the play. Evidently, the event was deemed a success as this year saw the roll-out of monthly activities.
Faculty and students have engaged in several events so far this year, and based on their interests, they can attend any or all events. The group did a scavenger hunt in Central Park, took a tour of Haunted New York in the West Village, and attended an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility at the Bedlam Theater. Next up on the horizon is a trip to The Merchant’s House Museum on Saturday December 17th to see John Kevin Jones’ one-man retelling of “A Christmas Carol,” which, according to Ms. Desmond, is “a magical experience; the performance is held in a living room of the home with period furnishings, holiday decorations, and flickering candlelight.” She said that the experience makes the audience members feel that they have traveled back in time to a different era.
Sophomore Elsa Chung attended and thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Sense and Sensibility. “Not only was the show intriguing and unique, but it was also a true work of art that I wouldn’t have heard about,” said Chung. Based on her experience, Chung believes that students should take advantage of the opportunities to engage and share their interests with fellow Riverdale community members outside of the classroom.
There are several dates on the calendar for the new year and Ms. Desmond is actively looking into fun activities for students. Some proposed plans include laser tag, karaoke, and a visit to “Escape the Room,” which is an interactive challenge in which teams must solve clues in order to find their way out of the room. The dates of upcoming events are Saturdays January 21st, February 11th, March 11th, April 22nd, and May 13th, although dates are subject to change. Ms. Desmond is open to suggestions for possible excursions, so she welcomes the input of the student body who may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The club sends out information on upcoming events via email, so students should be on the watch for updates. They can also contact Ms. Desmond at the aforementioned email to inform her directly of their interest in attending future activities.