When I was in 6th grade, Outdoor Education was the event I looked forward to the most, because every kid that went always explained how much fun they had. When the time finally came, I experienced some things I never thought I would do in my lifetime, and certainly not as a 6th grader. For example: repelling. Repelling is when you descend from a cliff on a rope. Even though the “cliff” we repelled off of was five feet high, it felt more like 20 feet.
With Outdoor Education being canceled last year due to COVID, the Outdoor Education staff worked quickly to figure out ways these 6th graders, now 7th graders, could experience these activities. Health and gym teacher Jason Edge is also the lead teacher for Outdoor Ed. Edge and the Outdoor Ed. committee set aside the whole first week of this coming May for the current 6th and 7th graders. The seniors have also been invited to come back to be counselors. Seniors are picked because they are responsible and the 6th graders look up to them. Their purpose is to supervise the kids while still having fun. The kids and counselors will have two and a half days of fun, just like the past years. In those two and a half days, the kids and counselors will go on hikes, go fishing, canoeing, look at stars, and if they are lucky, go repelling.
Outdoor Education can teach you life skills, and it can give you more knowledge of the outdoors. “Being outdoors and learning from many different obstacles and challenges will provide the kids the power to know that with a little hard work and being uncomfortable with your surroundings, that the rewards are far greater than anticipated,” Edge says. Edge explained how the outdoor environment teaches kids cooperative learning and how the outdoors provide many lessons and skills that can be beneficial going forward in life.
Edge and his team are confident that any challenge that comes at them is under control. The only thing that they have to worry about is giving the kids a “new normal” Outdoor Education experience. Edge and his team, along with the 6th graders, 7th graders, and seniors, will be making their way to Wyalusing State Park in the first week of May.