Friendship Students Take Learning Outside the Classroom
Taking learning outside of the school classroom walls can provide not only new opportunities, new experiences, and a new perspective, but also be, quite simply, just a lot of fun.
Friendship Junior High sixth graders had the opportunity to experience this firsthand over two days through the Outdoor Education program at Sunrise Lake Outdoor Educational Center in Bartlett, IL. All sixth graders in CCSD59’s three junior highs participated in the program this year.
“We are extremely fortunate to have access to Camp Sunrise through our partnership with NSSEO, which makes this program possible,” said Dr. Art Fessler, Superintendent of Schools for CCSD59, who dropped in for a visit. “Outdoor education allows students and staff to interact and engage in a different manner than the usual school setting, see one another in a different environment, and under different circumstances, which allows for more rapid development of friendships and relationships.”
The students participated in a variety of outdoor activities with staff members, including rock climbing, canoeing, archery, team building activities, a campfire cookout, and more.
Many experiences that happen during the Outdoor Education Program cannot be replicated inside the classroom. “For some, this was an experience of first’s: first time shooting an arrow in archery, on the water canoeing, or rock climbing, “ said Jodi Megerle, principal at Friendship. “Some students were facing fears (of water or heights) they worked to overcome, either on their own or with the help from their new friends and classmates.”
Of course, sometimes the novelty of the outdoors extends beyond work, too. Megerle said, “One student quite happily told me it was the first time he had a s’more.”