Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Blessed with a Steady Crew

By Christopher D. Day P’12,’13, Head of School

My favorite line in the Cardigan hymn comes toward the end: “through storm or weather fair.” It’s emblazoned on a sign which hangs over my office door, and it has been, and continues to be, an apt reminder and motivator to us all, especially over the last nine months and for the foreseeable future. But perhaps it would be more appropriate if the sign were to read “through storm and weather fair”; our existence lately has been as frenetic and variable as New England’s weather–filled with moments of turbulent uncertainty as well as moments of blissfully fair sailing and celebration. 

On the one hand, we are daily dealing with a relentless pandemic that has interrupted the routines and programs familiar to our school and threatens the health and safety of every member of our community. It took extraordinary measures and flexible thinking to open our doors in August to the boys who want, and deserve, to study and develop here. And maintaining our status has required a commitment from every member of this community: students, staff, faculty, family, and friends. I have been particularly impressed by the students, who are doing great, despite the fact that it’s tough to wear masks most of the time, tough to train for sports in which the opponents they face on Saturdays are practicing alongside them and wearing the same colors. But to watch these boys practice, one would think that they were preparing for a tilt against our rivals from Eaglebrook!

Tomorrow, next week, and next month still lie ahead of us and we will face new challenges, but knowing that this School has the support of every individual in it gives me hope and optimism for what is to come.

Christopher D. Day P’12,’13

At the same time, we have been celebrating a trifecta of impressive accomplishments: the completion of a 12-year strategic plan, the success of The Campaign for Cardigan 2020, and the anniversary of our founding 75 years ago. Those who haven’t been to campus recently will likely marvel at the physical changes at Cardigan. And peeling back a layer or two will reveal that the physical transformation to Cardigan’s campus is the result of a strengthening and evolving program, and a responsible stewardship of resources, as we work to secure a bright future for the boys and families who have yet to discover Cardigan. Our successes are directly tied to our mission and the hard work of countless individuals who have kept us focused and striving for our goals. 

None of this would have been possible without the tireless effort of so many members of this community. We have done this together, and I am grateful to everyone for our success to date–in both fighting this global pandemic and in completing a very successful campaign.

Tomorrow, next week, and next month still lie ahead of us and we will face new challenges, but knowing that this School has the support of every individual in it gives me hope and optimism for what is to come. The stories and features in this Chronicle are examples of the kind of crew members we are blessed to have as we steer a steady course…through storm and weather fair.

I want to welcome all members of the Cardigan family to this edition of the Chronicle. More than a brochure which highlights the sunny days and smiling faces of Cardigan (of which there are many), this publication blends images with stories—both contemporary and historical—to invite the reader into the dynamic life of a school for middle school boys. I couldn’t be more proud of this community and family; I hope that this Chronicle provides you with a sense of pride and motivates you to lean in and help us write the next chapter of this great story. 

Spring 2021 Feature: Up and to the Right

More From the Spring 2021 Issue

Hap Hinman

It was Harold P. “Hap” Hinman who first saw the potential of the Haffenreffer Estate as a location for a boys’ school, and in 1944, it was he who brought together KUA headmaster Bill Brewster and Dartmouth president E.M. “Hop” Hopkins to explore the possibilities.

Read More about Hap Hinman
Cardigan skiers post for a photo

With the School’s average annual snowfall of over six feet, on a hilltop location surrounded by miles of trails, skiing––in all of its forms––was destined to play a significant role in the winter lives of Cardigan boys.

Read More about Cardigan On Snow
Seniors jump from the Chapel Steps

Perhaps the most important lessons in leadership occur in the students’ daily routines and activities. We took the time to talk with Cardigan’s 2020-21 school leader and assistant school leader to get their perspective.

Read More about Student Leaders
Cardigan students performing community service

For a school with the unofficial rallying cry, “Help the other fella,” it’s no surprise that service has always been a part of the fabric of the School.

Read More about Service
Cardigan's Chapel

Not affiliated with any religion, the Chapel, and the directors of spiritual life who have organized its programs, have been concerned less with a student’s direct relationship with any god and more with a student’s moral compass.

Read More about Spiritual Life