Students Learn and Lead in Outdoor Ed

Middle and Upper Derby Academy students recently returned from a series of outdoor education and leadership programs that provided opportunities for students to challenge and apply themselves outside the classroom.
 
Part personal discovery, part group discovery, and part outdoor discovery, the outings are designed to challenge students and grow their confidence while they learn how to lead, collaborate with others, and discover their own strengths and talents.
 
The faculty members participating in the activities returned to Derby with a better knowledge of individual students, an improved sense of group dynamics, and valuable experiences to apply throughout the year in the advisory and homeroom programs.
 
Grade 8 Learns & Leads at Sargent Center
 
Grade 8 students visited the Sargent Center, a 700-acre outdoor education facility in Hancock, New Hampshire. During their stay, students participated in the Nature’s Classroom program, an environmental education workshop comprised of scientific field studies throughout the center’s ponds, forests, meadows, and rivers. Students also completed outdoor team-building exercises and adventure activities that enabled students to work as a cohesive group and develop skills in problem-solving, goal setting, and decision-making. Events like the ropes course helped students and teachers further develop the ideas of collaboration, communication, and community as they begin their final year at Derby. Students also spent time in a reflective mode, writing and discussing individual and class goals for the year.
 
Grade 7 at Thompson Island
 
Grade 7 students and faculty spent September 26-27 stationed on Thompson Island in Boston Harbor, an island classroom part of the Outward-Bound program. Students spent their time conducting hands-on field science and participating in team-building exercises like ropes courses and bridge building, adding to the social-emotional learning and community building excursion.
 
Grade 6 Goes Back in Time and Takes Team Building Outdoors
 
On September 26, Grade 6 students visited Plimoth Plantation to study and explore the early settlement and Native people of the area. Last week, Grade 6 students traveled to Hale Reservation in Westwood to participate in the adventure education program; a day-long program of team building and personal challenges. Students worked with their classmates to solve problems, then push themselves in a “challenge-by-choice” high ropes course.
 
Students safely challenged themselves as they developed self-confidence and strengthened relationships between classmates and faculty.
 
 
Grades 4 and 5 to Camp Wing
 
Middle School students traveled to Camp Wing in Duxbury on September 26 to engage in a variety of programs while team building with peers. Climbing, canoeing, and ropes courses helped students build confidence and self-esteem while developing their interpersonal and collaboration skills. Students had the opportunity to escape from human knots, conquer the climbing wall, and work together in team challenges.
 
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