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Hoping for a NOC Reunion

The week before my 1971 Northwood graduation, a couple of friends and I pulled a late-night caper: sneaking out, hitching a ride down Route 73, and hiking Cascade Mountain in the dark. Among our miscreant crew was Bobby Mattice '71, an extraordinary hockey and lacrosse player, but a rookie to the outdoors.

I hadn’t given that expedition much thought until many (many!) years later when I ran into Bobby on his descent from Giant Mountain. Incredibly, he was just finishing his 46er quest. What started as a lark turned into an important part of his adult life.

Bobby isn’t alone. Over and over again I hear about Northwood grads taking to the woods, the rivers, and the mountains long after their Adirondack days were in the rearview mirror. Even more gratifying is hearing about how they are adventuring with their own kids. A Mountain Day, an impulsive camping trip, a Saturday morning rappelling adventure – any one of these could set in motion a new way of looking at the world and how to live it. Simply walking across the frozen Mirror Lake under the magical scattering of stars leaves one changed.

Those experiences continue, with adventures more diverse than ever before. Just this year, the Northwood Outing Club will be traveling to Las Vegas for its world-class rock climbing, and in January they’ll be off to Mount Kilimanjaro! They are earning certifications in wilderness first aid and avalanche safety. In essence, they are being changed.

What I want from you here is to recollect some to see if you, too, were changed a little bit by the Adirondacks and the adventures you experienced in your student days. And if this touches some good old memories or inspires some reflections, take a few minutes and let us know. A sentence or two (or more) should suffice for each of the following questions.

1.  Were you part of the organized outdoor program at Northwood?

2.  If not, did you still dabble – maybe rappelling, camping, canoeing?

3.  Do you have any vivid memories of encountering the outdoors as a Northwood student? And is there a particular moment that is etched in your soul?

4. Is the outdoors still part of your life, and can you trace this back your Northwood days?

5. If we were to put together an adventure week/weekend for geezers, do you think you might be interested? Relax – this would entail just casual kayaking, beginner rock climbing, smores around the fire, exaggerations about how cool and fit we used to be, self-deprecating laughs, with beer and Ibuprofen supplied by the school.

If interested, please send me an email: 

See you on the trails; I hope we can keep a conversation going.


Don Mellor '71