Sunday, April 28, 2013

Overnight Field Trips: Wahsega 4H Center

The week before last, HoneyFern went on an overnight field trip to Wahsega 4H Center just north of  Dahlonega, Georgia.

It was striking to me, watching the students in this environment. They were so confident, capable and knowledgeable; they worked together, dove into the challenges and didn't back down when they got frustrated.

I took massive amounts of pictures but suffered an unfortnate technical error and don't have them all, but here are some of the highlights.

Quakers, the resident duck:

HoneyFern getting ready to start their challenge course:

The course included a challenge that had never been completed; students had to balance this platform, and then switch sides (all of them) without unbalancing the platform. HoneyFern did it.

They also aced another one of the challenges that no one had completed (crossing a hot lava river on shamrocks). I had to bite my tongue to not point out in a very teacher-y fashion that all of the skills they were using (collaborative, communication, planning, logic, problem-solving, design) they had learned this year through the design and development of their projects. I bit my tongue a lot this trip to just let them apply their skill and relax in the mountains, but I wanted to shout out, "See!! It works!! Here's proof!!"
We raced on these after a practice run; I won't say who won, but it was a very, very close race!

We also did a zipline; we climbed up a phone pole to a 43-foot platform that swayed in the breeze (!), then leapt off into the abyss. Some students loved it, some hated it, but everyone made it. The final day of the camp we participated in a survival challenge; students had to build a shelter of available materials. This we did, in the pouring rain. I don't have a picture of this, but it was a pretty solid shelter.

And finally, some of our amazing students. This is the picture they would want me to post, even though I took a great one of them smiling and looking relaxed and happy. So I will forgo the typical picture and post this one of them "acting natural."


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