Last week, BFA Fairfax sixth-grade students and staff attended the Lotus Lake Discovery Center for an overnight, nature-based learning experience in Williamstown, Vermont.
This is the tenth year that our students have engaged in this unique and highly engaging learning opportunity.
While at Lotus Lake, students and staff participated in a range of nature-based learning and team-building activities. The mission of the camp is to:
- Learn about the natural environment through outdoor experiences.
- Grow in social relationships by broadening friendships and participating in group activities.
Students also had the opportunity to enjoy hiking, swimming, shelter and raft building, wire walking, fishing, fire building, cooking, making smores, and playing flashlight tag on this beautiful piece of property in central Vermont.
As students collaborated with one another to solve a variety of challenges, I was able to observe evidence of each and every one of the transferable skills that guide our middle school learning environment.
Students took on leadership roles, were self-directed in pursuit of specific goals, and took turns effectively communicating with their classmates to solve complex problems. This trip was proof positive that authentic learning can occur inside and outside the classroom.
One task students were faced with was to build a raft that could hold an entire team of students using only the materials provided (rope, wood, and barrels). Not every team succeeded, but the learning that took place was invaluable. Take a look at this tweet from sixth-grade teacher Lindy Carpenter, and watch a team of learners exploring and learning from their mistakes.
The joy in this video is palpable!
Thank you to the sixth-grade teaching team for offering this unique experience each year to our students. Many positive memories were made and this experience will continue to foster our students’ love of Vermont and the outdoors.
This post was co-authored by Principal Tom Walsh and Principal Intern Chris Palmer.