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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Outdoor Tradition

Each year in sixth grade we bring our students to outdoor school.  Three days and two nights of hiking, challenge by choice courses, campfire and team building activities.  The students learn by hands-on experience.  They get to have experiences only nature can give them. 

Some said they've never been on a hike before.

Some have never had a family-style meal before. 

Some never leave the city limits.

My high school guidance counselor Mr. Jerry Dunlap started this camp.  During the school year it is used to enhance curriculum.  During the summer it is used to give students with learning disabilities or urban settings an opportunity to learn through nature.

It is neat to see the kids trying things and challenging themselves to do things they never would have thought possible.  Kyle said to me today, they are learning and don't even know it.  He is right.  As much as I wish I could always offer this type of learning in the classroom--it is not possible.

I enjoy these tender moments with my students.  They look forward to this all year and it goes by so quickly.  What a great way to end the school year.  I remember going to outdoor school when I was in 6th grade.  It was at a different place, but it still brings back some fond memories. 

The outdoor tradition is one I hope to have for several more years.


  1. What a wonderful outing!


  2. I love outdoor school for the kidlets! I remember going when I was in 6th grade back when the dinosaurs roamed Chicago...man, they have big poops! I also remember when my boys went. Craig was the funniest because he was such a home body and he was not really wanting to go. He did get homesick he said but he stayed and finished the week. I mean, can you blame him? A whole week without his cool Mom? Seriously...Glad you had that special time with the students. Jerry was a good guy...I remember the boys talking about his toupee and every end of the school year somebody snatched it off his head...too funny.

  3. Sounds like fun. I have fond memories of a similar experience when I was young.