Pole & Paddle
Berkshire School is located near a large number of freshwater bodies open to the public. Pole & Paddle is designed to take advantage of these natural resources and provide students with the unique opportunity to participate in fishing and boating as an after-school activity. Getting out on the water also allows students to enjoy the forested mountains of the Berkshire landscape.
Pole & Paddle participants learn a variety of freshwater fishing techniques, including how to rig baits in different ways depending on the conditions of the water. When lightning strikes, the group stays indoors and each student designs his or her own custom lure, which is theirs to use and keep. Students also learn proper catch and release practices, and abide by “Leave No Trace” principles.
The boating aspect of Pole & Paddle involves canoeing and kayaking on non-treacherous waters. All students are required to go through a “swim test” at the start of the season to ensure they will be able to react appropriately if they accidently flip a vessel.
Each season, there is a mandatory camping trip to the Adirondack Mountains. This gives students an opportunity to experience a fresh setting as well as bond with fellow members. In addition, the camping trip makes it possible for students to be out on the water at times that are not possible during the busy school week, particularly late evening and early morning.