Greetings from Camp Anokijig! The weather is beautiful, and the students are active. Our intention with starting school off campus was to give the students authentic bonding experiences to carry throughout the year. From the staff point of view, it seems to have been a success. In the morning, students met their peers in advisory and then constructed reflection journals together. These journals will hold their thoughts so that we can look back on our time here, and build upon the lessons we’ve learned.
Before and after lunch, students engaged in camp activities facilitated by the Anokijig staff. Fires were lit. The canoes did not tip. There were more burrs in the orienteering than expected, but everyone survived. After running through Anokijig’s “Blind Hunter” activity, two of my very quiet sophomores commented that the non-verbal communication required to succeed will help them be better communicators overall. In her reflection journal, one of our new students has already identified the important lesson that, “you need to try all the ideas, even if you think the ideas may be wrong.”
Once the younger students left, the juniors and seniors were challenged to teach each other the activities from earlier in the day. I watched Jonah, Zach and Bayden demonstrate how to string a long bow, nock an arrow and fire. I listened to Jacob, Lydia and Zoe explain survival skills. You won’t survive more than three days without water; you need to stay hydrated to flush the toxins out “with science.” You could tell that these students are ready to take on the school year when we circled up and had them design and facilitate their own group reflection on the teaching experience.
We just finished dinner while I’m typing this. Most of the students are down by the waterfront with staff, but a few volunteers stayed back to help clean the kitchen. In a few minutes, they’ll be back and we’ll make plans for keeping this momentum for the rest of the school year. Wish you were here!