The New Jersey School of Conservation was thrilled to welcome Ocean City school’s 7th grade students to the campus for a four-day, three-night trip. During their visit, the group participated in several different environmental classes in addition to learning outdoor recreation skills.
Ocean City commenced their trip with ASEs (Action Socialization Experience) to develop and hone their teambuilding and problem solving skills. Each group was tasked with solving a physical challenge that required effective communication, active listening, and leadership. ASEs are focused more on the journey of solving the problem than the destination of overcoming the challenge.
In conservation photography, the students learned some basic photography concepts such as composition, lighting, and the Rule of Thirds. Once they have been supplied with a digital camera, they break into pairs to go on short hikes around campus. The students are encouraged to take their time, be creative, and get a little dirty if they want. At the end of class, each student leaves with a printed and framed photo from their hike to take home and show their families.
Metalsmithing allows the students to learn more about pre-industrial America and one of the essential occupations of the time. After gaining knowledge of the tools and methods a blacksmith would use to make a living, the students became blacksmith apprentices themselves and are given the opportunity to hammer and shape their own multifunctional, iron “S” hook as a souvenir.
Halfway through their trip, Ocean City took a very scenic hike from the NJSOC campus to nearby Sunrise Mountain. With the assistance of NJSOC staff, the students traversed both NJSOC and Stoke State Forest trails to reach a viewpoint at an elevation of about 1600ft where they looked across parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York! There’s some down time once they reach the viewpoint where they enjoy their lunches before heading back to campus.
Everyone at the New Jersey School of Conservation was delighted to work with the students, teachers, and chaperones of Ocean City. It was an exciting four days and the seventh graders brought enthusiasm to each class and activity. The staff here at the NJSOC would like to thank everyone from Ocean City schools for making this experience possible. We look forward to seeing them again next year!
Written by Dina Jones