Pioneer Trek at Five Falls Christian School
In September, kindergarden through fourth grade at Five Falls Christian School in Great Falls, Mont., experienced the Oregon Trail in a very hands-on way: their own Pioneer Trek. We loaded up the covered wagons the students had built and headed to Sluice Boxes State Park with several parent volunteers.
The three wagon trains set out down the trail pulling their supply-stocked wagons behind them. The parent volunteers presented pretend challenges along the way, and the students had to work together to find solutions. Some challenges caused delays, which gave time for the other wagon trains to pass them on the trail.
The students picked chokecherries along the trail. They eventually arrived at "camp" and circled up their wagons. The first job was building “fire rings” from rocks. Lunch was eaten before unloading the wagons in preparation for the river crossing.
The river crossing promised to be a fun time, and it did not disappoint! The students eagerly rolled up their pant legs and headed across, working together to get their covered wagons across the flowing water.
After crossing back over the river and returning to "camp," we loaded the wagons and headed back toward the parking lot to play in shallower waters before finally make the return trip to school.
When the fifth through eighth grade students arrived at school dressed as Native Americans, they had items to barter with the pioneers: balloons, bracelets, candy, pencils and more.
This fun time was thanks largely to the people who volunteered.