Outdoor Ed; fifth grade rite of passage
Located at 6,800 feet nestled in a canyon along Rampart Range, Stone Canyon Outdoor EdVentures served as the perfect environment for both Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) and Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) fifth grade students’ outdoor learning experience.
Stone Canyon OutdoorEd is a rite of passage for fifth grade students, and the highlight of the school year for many. The three-day overnight camp trip was filled with daily activities from archery, to a thrill-seeking ropes course, numerous team building activities, and planning for and surviving a zombie apocalypse. Favorite evening activities included the traditional barn dance, s’mores and songs by the campfire.
For many campers, this was their first time away from home and their first experience without any electronic connection. Students connected with each other and nature, having to take responsibility for their own entertainment. Not only did the experience give students a fun outdoor learning experience, it gave them an opportunity to develop self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and social responsibility.
Students had to make their beds and care for their clothes. In addition, the time away from the classroom gave students a new perspective and an opportunity to try new things and explore outside of their comfort zones and into young leaders of the future.
BRE fifth grader Caleb McNeil said his greatest learning experience was bottle rockets and learning about aerodynamics. What he enjoyed most was working as a team to design their rocket and problem solve. “Instead of just hearing about Newton’s Laws, we were able to experience them,” said McNeil.
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of BRE and TTE