MED’s 2017 summer learning camp has focused on personal wellness and nature through projects that incorporate math, science, technology, and language arts. Students participating in the camp cleaned up a leg of the forested trails on campus and turned a tranquil spot alongside the pond into a “Mindfulness Area” where they and others could go to find peace and quiet and practice meditative exercises.
The students and their teachers descended on the forest with rakes, clippers, and other hand tools to clear away loose leaves and brush and remove tripping hazards like stones or protruding roots from under foot (special thanks to buildings and grounds crewmember Steve Phillips, who brought in power equipment ahead of time to help remove some of the more stubborn obstacles).
The project wasn’t just about beautifying the schools forest trails. Prior to heading into the woods, the students conducted a research and writing project on the types of plants and animals they could find in our local woods. Once completed, they compiled their research into a binder that will be on display in the MED office as well as the superintendent’s office. The students also made 3-D models of structures they imagined could go into the forest or their mindfulness area, such as benches to relax on or open-air cabins to comfortably observe nature from. The students also measured the areas they had improved to allow them to map their progress.
This is MED’s second year offering students a summer learning experience, which is free and open to students entering 4th and 5th grades. With this summer’s theme being wellness, other camp activities include a “boot camp” workout each morning to get everyone’s blood pumping before they start the day’s learning activities, as well as daily mindfulness instruction. Every Friday, the group also prepares a new and different healthy snack to enjoy. And with “A Summer of Wellness” camp running into the beginning of August, more adventures await!