Upon their arrival to the New Jersey School of Conservation (NJSOC), the bright and energetic students from the John Adams Elementary School participated in the Action Socialization Experiences: a series of critical thinking challenges that promote teamwork among the participants. The challenges taught the students the importance of communication and showed them that listening to each other's ideas is just as important as presenting your own ideas. As the students made their way through the different elements they got better and better at cooperating, and by the end of the session, they had gained a greater respect for each other.
After the team-building exercise, the students split off into smaller groups to learn more about the natural world through classes like Stream-Geo Ecology, Woodworking, Confidence Course, and Boating. Stream Geo-Ecology showed the students how rivers and streams cross and alter the landscape, and how they create and end life for so many organisms. They realized that various bodies of water could gently flow and weave around land, or mercilessly plow through everything in its path. Throughout the class, the students learned that these bodies of water flow all throughout NJ and the rest of the planet, and affect every one of us. A clean watershed means clean water for all of us.
Colonial Woodworking gave the students a glimpse at what it was like to live without modern technology. By working with nothing but their hands, they discovered how to harvest resources from their natural surroundings necessary for survival. The students learned about the hardships of our forefathers and developed an appreciation for all the modern conveniences we have today.
The Confidence Course gave the students a chance to face their fears and take on physical challenges, many of which took them outside their comfort zone. Through tight rope wires, beams, and suspended logs, the students built confidence and learned to trust themselves and their fellow students.
Boating in Lake Wapalanne is a fun adventure filled with opportunities to explore a world that is usually reserved for aquatic beings. After having hands on experience with the plants and animals that dwell underwater, the students gained newfound knowledge and appreciation for water's impact in their lives.
The teachers and professional staff at the New Jersey School of Conservation would like the thank everyone from the John Adams Elementary School for making this visit possible. The bright minds and genuine respect of the students made teaching a cheerful, rewarding and exciting experience! We look forward to hosting the next generation of John Adams fifth-graders next year.