A Different Kind of School

July 01, 2008 | Kathy Marson

Picture a young student, not able to climb a hill, carried by an airman. Observe quiet excitement of another as he hides under a camouflage of leaves and a squirrel runs over the top. Try not to lose your dinner as one student gulps down a worm and others munch on pine needles. This is outdoor school.

Of all the things she does, Sandy Mason's favorite is outdoor school. Mason works in the Upper Columbia Conference education department and is a teacher. She is responsible for three outdoor school sessions each year at Camp MiVoden. Approximately two-thirds of the K–10 Adventist schools in the UCC participated this year.

Much of the special training this year was organized by survival school specialists from Fairchild Air Force Base.

Airmen came to each of the three week-long outdoor schools to teach survival skills. Through their coaching, students learned how to get a daily quota of vitamin C while in the woods; how to build shelter from branches; how to start a fire without matches; and how to find things to eat in the forest. Students also worked on honors in scrapbooking, rock climbing, baking and model rocketry.

"Outdoor school is a great way to watch kids experience learning," says Mason. "When teachers live with students at camp, they get to know their students and can pinpoint the best way to teach them."

To view a news story online about Outdoor School, go to www.upstreamnews.tv.