Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First Place Students at Islandwood Nature Camp

Yesterday, Monday, November 2, 2009, the 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes headed to Islandwood on Bainbridge Island to participate in the School Overnight Program which uses the environment as a catalyst for learning.

First Place students and staff will be sending pictures and updates every day for the blog. Here is the first update:
Our first day at Islandwood was one of overwhelming excitement. The class was broken into two groups, Team Pond and Team Wave. It was non-stop activity starting with a hike to Mac's Pond where we got on a "floating classroom" raft that the students powered by turning a crank. After drawing the gorgeous lake scene we went back to our spectacular lodge, the "Bird's Nest", which has soaring ceilings, a fireplace and wonderful hot showers.

After a delicious turkey dinner with pineapple upside-down cake for dessert, Team Pond went on a night hike with no light except a very faint moonlight. That was exciting enough, but about halfway through our instructor Ms. Erin had us put on blindfolds for a "trust" walk. Holding on to each other we silently and swiftly made our way onto a footbridge at least 50 feet above a ravine.

What did the students think?
"The hike was scary, fun... It was fun to learn."
"It was scary...the bridge was shaking."
"It was creepy and I was really brave."

The other half of the class was inside learning to recognize fox and coyote scat (poop) and participating in an Ecosystem Challenge where they worked in small groups with students from Bennett Elementary and Roxhill Elementary to observe, describe and draw an ecosystem. Students also spent a lot of time today getting to know the Islandwood staff and learning the Islandwood way of life.

Team Wave said:
"The food at Islandwood is delicious!"
"I liked when we went to the Learning Treehouse and talked about how to respect nature."
"I liked eating at the dining hall and learning how to conserve food and how to use table manners."

Check back tomorrow afternoon for another update.

No names were used to protect the identity of the students.

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