By Craig Gemmell and Nancy Hughes
Lord House, Saturday Morning 12/12
Twenty sleepy students from Trey Whitfield School and their equally sleepy Brewster hosts streamed in at 9 a.m. for breakfast and companionship. Again this year, Trey Whitfield fifth through eighth grade students came to Brewster to visit overnight in the dorms, tour our campus, attend a basketball tournament and clinic, and explore Wolfeboro. A few students also interviewed with our Admission Office. The time these young people spent on campus was all just a small part of a remarkable, abiding relationship Brewster Academy has enjoyed with the Trey Whitfield School for over a quarter of a century.
Saturday morning this partnership allowed us to see how impressive students from these two schools are. The kids from Trey Whitfield School revealed themselves to be paragons of politeness and unbridled curiosity while our Brewster student hosts demonstrated boldly their kindness, maturity, and capacity to nurture. All were impressive and heartening. All are good kids to the bone.
Lord House, Sunday Evening 12/13
Dressed from head to toe as an elf, Maria Found bounded through the door (not down the chimney) at 5:30 p.m., handed Craig the Santa suit, and organized the bundles in tow. Then for an hour, Craig played a middling Santa before a crowd of faculty children and their parents, Nancy read our family Christmas favorite (Toot and Puddle’s Christmas) as Maria and her elves — Brewster Big Friends — sang and played with the faculty kids. A number of Maria’s helpers had been with us on Saturday morning, and we couldn’t help but think of how remarkable it was to have Brewster students sharing of themselves early on a morning when they could sleep in and then again late on a Sunday after a long weekend. Yes, it is the “season of giving” but what we saw this weekend was really a crystallization of what we have been witnessing since July — the sincere generosity of the Brewster community.
With role models such as Janie and A.B. Whitfield, the Trey Whitfield students could not help but be polite and curious. Janie and A.B. instill in their community the importance of taking advantage of opportunity and of being grateful for the chances to explore and grow. No where in Maria Found’s contract is it written that she is to dress like an elf and gather students to spread good cheer, but that charge is written somewhere in her heart, and our students see her generous, spirited antics, and follow! And in so doing, they learn to share of themselves.
Watching the delighted faces of our faculty children, we were reminded of how impressionable children are (those young and those nudging toward adulthood). If we surround them with kindness and generosity, they are more likely to live lives guided by these qualities. We saw a great deal of impressive child-rearing this weekend. It is one more reason why we are proud to work at Brewster and to call it — and Lord House — home. We and our boys wish all of the wider Brewster a restful and joyous holiday season.