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Round Square Representatives: Venture to Ajmer, India

“We are all looking forward to it, in spite of the fact that last Monday the temperature was 102 degrees!” said Martha Lyman about the 2009 Round Square conference in India.

Every year, Deerfield selects six students to attend this international Round Square Conference, and this year’s students include Kayla Corcoran ’10, Jacque Hulburd ’10, Lydie Blundon ’11, Miles Griffis ’11, and Emmett Knowlton ’11. Ben Callinder ’11 was selected but was unable to attend due to health issues.

The accompanying faculty members were Martha Lyman, Associate Head of School and Director of College Advising, and Francoise Ellis, Language teacher and Department Chair.

“It is the first trip to India for all of us,” Mrs. Ellis said, “But everyone is very excited and expecting big things.”

All were nervous-excited on Thursday, October 10, when the five students and two faculty members departed for their eight-day adventure to India. The trip was for Round Square, a global association of 82 schools which promotes community service, adventure, and personal development in students across the world.

The 2009 conference was hosted 82 miles from Jaipur, India at the beautiful Mayo College, or “The Eton of the East,” in Ajmer, India.
Each day at the conference began with optional yoga and then launched into a series of speakers, conferences, and smaller workshops focused on peace and knowledge.

Highlights included an adventure day to experience Indian towns and cities through hiking, sightseeing, eating, and shopping, and a public service day to promote rural development in small villages and afforestation (building forests) in the Pushkar Valley.

Griffis said, “I absolutely love traveling and plunging into adventures.” In fact, he was so desperate to go that, to convince his parents, he worked the entire summer at a camp to help pay for the trip.

Corcoran said, “The chance to experience something different, not just see it or hear it, but really feel it, will be incredibly surreal.”

Hulburd admitted before she left for the trip that she was worried about getting the swine flu and catching up on homework upon return, but, like the rest, she “can’t want to meet people from all over the world and hear their points of view.”