HBHA’s Return To Tucker

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Evelyn Brand, Writer

Slider image by Evelyn Brand.

At the beginning of every school year (the normal ones at least), Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) students spend a day at the Tucker Leadership Lab at William Jewell College. The goals of attending Tucker are to create “better leaders and foster an environment of team growth and personal development.” 

Freshman Noa Levine shared that her favorite team-building activity was when her class had to form a circle with a rope around them and lean back without falling. After many tumbles and giggles, the freshmen class were able to successfully sit without falling.

Juniors gaining altitude at Tucker ropes course. Image by Evelyn Brand

Ethan Klinock’s experience climbing the tower was one where he doubted himself but in the end was determined, even reaching the top on his first climb. After reaching the top of the tower, he set yet another goal for himself: Klinock planned to jump onto a hanging log nicknamed the tootsie roll. On Klinock’s final climb, he attempted to jump onto the tootsie roll but was unsuccessful. Looking back on his day at Tucker, Klinock was disappointed in himself for not climbing the tootsie roll but overall had a great final year at Tucker. He also shared some advice for future Tucker participants, saying that whether it’s your freshman or senior year and “you’re scared to do something, just do it because you probably won’t have another chance to.”

Juniors scaling the ropes at Tucker 30′ in the air. Image by Evelyn Brand

Due to Covid-19, this was sophomore Rose Wasserman’s first time at Tucker. While at Tucker, Wasserman learned through different activities that it’s ok to ask for help. Even though Wasserman was frightened the entire time she was on the ropes course, she was able to push herself because she was surrounded by classmates she trusted. 

Junior Avi Hammer working his way up the ropes course. Image by Evelyn Brand

Tucker isn’t only about having a good time, participants can also learn valuable lessons there. Todd Clauer, HBHA’s upper school principal, comments that “learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom.” Not only is Tucker an educational experience, but due to its hands-on and interactive nature, students get to experience something they wouldn’t get to normally. Clauer also believes that the skills students learn at Tucker can be applied both in and beyond the classroom. 

After many hours were spent sweating in the sun and persevering through difficult challenges, it was another successful day spent at Tucker.