SAA Explores Mountain School

November 06, 2016 | Tressa Farnsworth

Mountain School, located on beautiful Lake Diablo in the North Cascades National Park, is the site of a three-day outdoor learning experience.

The seventh- and eighth-grade students from Skagit Adventist Academy (SAA) in Burlington were excited to explore this wonderful national treasure. The students participated in outdoor as well as classroom activities. This variety allowed them to enjoy the “big picture” of the mountains and get a microscopic view of the organisms that live there.

A strong focus was on learning about the plants and animals found there. The staff at the institute provided activities that engaged the students as they hiked and enjoyed God’s second book, nature. One activity required the students to learn about a plant or tree then teach the others in their trail group about their new knowledge.

This program was a perfect mix of hiking, games and creative activities to keep the students wanting more. With comfortable facilities, this program was a perfect way to help students connect with the organisms that are found right in their backyard. Aubrey Fautheree, SAA teacher, says in a discussion with students after participating in the Mountain School, their response was an enthusiastic, “It was lit” (epic or awesome). They would have liked to stay a little longer in God’s second book to explore even more.

Many expressed joy in hiking to the waterfall and dunking their head into the ice-cold water. They even held a contest to see who could hold their head under for at least 11 seconds. Some mentioned seeing claw marks on a tree made by a bear.

Mia bravely touched some animals the mountain school had frozen. Games like kick the can and camouflage were reported by Jon. Sophia really enjoyed the humorous instructors who taught and led them on an exploration of nature. Shayla’s favorite thing was stories around the campfire. Sydney’s highlight was a “solo sit” on a ledge, giving her a feeling of being on top of the world.

Parents also appreciated the Mountain School experience and expressed thanks that SAA students could have this opportunity to experience God’s second book of nature firsthand.