Today our students and advisors loaded up the busses and headed out to Camp Anokijig for a day full of activities that tested our ability to collaborate and communicate effectively to work toward a goal in an outdoor setting. Throughout the day, groups consisting of two advisories each completed three different activities which all had different goals. A student favorite was the voyager canoe, which allowed an entire advisory to get into the canoe together and navigate around the lake. Mr. Fredrichsen’s advisory collaborated by singing a song as a group which allowed them to row in rhythm. Other groups identified roles, noticing that once they had a leader it was much easier to row together and move the canoe effectively. While reflecting on this activity, Mr. Laborde and Miss Kooistra’s advisees identified that in order to be successful as a group they needed to listen to each student’s ideas, put forth maximum effort, focus on the task at hand, encourage each other, and take on leadership opportunities when appropriate. Students then tried to improve at each of these aspects throughout the rest of the day.
In addition to the canoe, groups participated in a survival training and fire building course, experienced a low ropes team building activity, and tackled the blind hunter puzzle. Each activity was unique in the ways that it required students to communicate either as a small group or large group in order to accomplish a goal. Students throughout the day recognized their groups being successful when people shared their ideas, and others listened openly and followed instruction. Some groups identified that it was hard to accomplish a task when everyone was shouting out their ideas, but once a person established themselves as a leader it was easier to get the task done. Students also identified that having background knowledge about an activity, if they had done something similar before, helped them to be successful.
All of the reflections that took place today provide connections for us to use within our school community on a day to day basis. It was enjoyable for the staff to step out and watch students take on roles as well as reflect on the things they needed to be successful as a group. Although students may have been building fire or using ropes to put a bucket on a platform, the habits that they used today are the same habits they will need to be successful within classrooms and projects. We look forward to using the reflections on this experience to help students continue to grow with their habits of collaboration, self-discipline, and communication within our classrooms and advisories this school year.