The boys, ages 14-16, began their visit with an overnight at the Mountain Campus where Trustee Peter Packard '66 regaled them with cowboy stories by the fire as six inches of snow fell. On the suggestion of top Mayo athlete Ishaan Mantry, the boys called the property "FVS Base Camp." In keeping with this name, Paul Carrese, a U.S. Air Force Academy professor and husband of Director of Global Education Susan Carrese P '13 '15, led a trek on Cottonwood Pass where the boys got a sense of the alpine ecosystem and the thin air of Colorado.
When they arrived on campus, Head of School William Webb, Director of Admission Kila McCann P '15 and several volunteer host students welcomed the delegation. Faculty members Rob Gilbert P ’11, ’13, Lisa Smith P ’18, Tyson Phillips, Addie Green ’06 and Doug Badger P ’16 volunteered to teach class sessions geared to the boys' interests. Global Affairs Forum co-presidents Cassidy Snyder ’15 and Joe Nuñez ’15 presided over a lively Q and A session on Indian politics and culture which included an original patriotic rap by Mayo College junior Prakhar Sachdev.
The students gave a formal presentation on their school and presented Indian gifts at All-School. Visits to the Air Force Academy, Venetucci Farm, the Olympic Training Center and the Big R Western store rounded out the itinerary to give the visitors a taste of the region before they ventured to Florida, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Fun intercultural moments took place over pick-up soccer, meals and table tennis competitions. Many Fountain Valley students appreciated this Round Square cross-cultural opportunity.
The delegation's visit was a continuation of the relationship started when Carrese visited Mayo College to learn about Round Square while she was on leave in 2007-08 to join her husband in Delhi while he was on a Fulbright Fellowship. Since then, there have been several collaborations with Mayo College: the "Indian Odyssey" Interim visited the school for lunch and a tour in 2013, and Nora Blood-Cheney '14 completed a Challenge 20/20 project (sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools), which involved a year-long collaboration with the Environmental Club at Mayo. This became Blood-Cheney’s global scholar capstone project, "Global Water Issues Through Local Lenses in Rajasthan, India, and Colorado Springs."
FVS received an official thank you video from principal Lt. General Surenda Kulkarni and an invitation to send an FVS group to Mayo sometime soon.