Harlem Lacrosse-LA Visits The Midland School


In November, Harlem Lacrosse-LA capped the 2017 Fall Season with a camping trip to Los Olivos, CA at Midland School, an idyllic boarding school known for its tight-knit community and experiential educational model. HLers joined Midland students for lunch and learned about what it’s like to attend the school (which features a no cell-phone policy and a comprehensive student-work program), took a tour of the Midland farm and garden, learned about boarding school admissions, and camped out on Tank Mesa, one of Midland’s favorite campsites. Midland School maintains 35 miles of hiking trails, and its students regularly check out for day hikes and backpacking trips in the Santa Ynez Mountains above campus.

Upon arrival at the school, HLers were greeted by Headmaster Christopher Barnes, who introduced us at Announcements and welcomed us to the school. Harlem Lacrosse and Midland students quickly intermingled and shared a delicious lunch. Food is one powerful aspect of the Midland experience, as we learned on our farm tour. Midland grows about 50 percent of the food it consumes and wherever possible eats foods that are in season and locally and organically grown. Ranch Manager Nick Tranmer walked us around the farm, explaining a bit about its history and operation. Cayenne peppers got the best of a few bold students and coaches and everyone felt a little closer to the food chain by the end of the tour. 


After touring the farm, HLLA met with director of admission Tim Weir, who gave students some insight into the boarding school admission process, financial aid, and what Midland looks for in prospective students. Due to extreme fire danger, our camping experience did not feature a campfire, but students set their own tents, played capture the flag with Coach Ernie, and listened to stories after dinner. For many students, this was the first night sleeping in a tent, the first time hearing owls and coyotes at night, the first time eating from a camp stove.

The next day HLers packed sandwiches and departed on a morning hike up into the foothills of nearby Grass Mountain. The HL group kept spirits up on the trail with lively conversation and laughter on a beautiful California November day and then headed back into busy Los Angeles. Harlem Lacrosse-LA would like to thank everyone at The Midland School for welcoming us in and showing us around. We'll see you again soon!