Every October, students, staff, faculty, and parents from the Lower and Middle Schools celebrate Gill’s annual Stone Soup Day. For over 30 years, this Gill tradition has been teaching students the importance of and value in sharing with and helping others. The day originated from the folktale of a magic stone that has powers to turn an ordinary pot of water into a hearty soup that could feed a large crowd. Referencing this fable, Lower and Middle School Director Kyle Armstrong told the gathering at Scout Cabin that, “One person alone cannot feed a village, but if everyone comes together, then the village can thrive.” Before the students can add their vegetable and noodle contributions to the pot, the “magic” stone must first be dropped. As in previous years, the youngest student in the school has the honor of dropping the soup stone into the empty pot, which is handed to her from the eighth-grade lifers (students who have been at the school since first grade or earlier). This symbolism of passing the stone highlights the importance that Gill puts on community and sharing among students of all ages on our campus. After the stone was dropped, Lower School students and their Middle School “buddies” poured in various produce to fill up the pot, which is created into a vegetable “Stone Soup” to be served later in the Dining Hall. The festivities did not end there for some students; however, as keeping with the theme of the day, second grade students helped deliver all of the extra produce to the local Chester Food Pantry. It was very fitting that on this unseasonably warm day, this time-honored, heartfelt message of sharing and compassion was celebrated on the Gill campus.A gallery of photos from the day are now available on our Facebook page.