Orchard Middle School Students Stay Overnight on Campus After Canoe Trips With Advisories

Middle School at Orchard starts in 5th grade and goes through 8th grade. The program is centered around the academic, social, and emotional needs of young adolescents. Our small student to teacher ratio affords teachers the emotional space to create meaningful relationships with students. This safe and encouraging atmosphere allows students to build confidence and independence as they explore their interests and individuality. 
 
For example, fifth-grade students learn to canoe as part of their outdoor education and PE curriculum. Each advisory embarks on a 24-hour canoeing/overnight experience during the first few weeks of school. During the excursion, students learn the parts of a canoe, canoeing skills, how to start a fire, and how to assemble a tent. Overall, they canoe Eagle Creek Reservoir and White River and spend the night on campus by the cabin.

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    • Bags are packed and ready to go!

      Bags are packed and ready to go!

    • After arriving at Eagle Creek, students have to unload the canoes as a team and take them down to the water. No teacher help needed.

      After arriving at Eagle Creek, students have to unload the canoes as a team and take them down to the water. No teacher help needed.

    • Before venturing out on the water, Outdoor Education Coordinator Colleen Bumford brings everyone together for a quick check in. Miss Bumford checks personal flotation devices, goes over canoeing skills again, and reminds the group that they’re awesome!

      Before venturing out on the water, Outdoor Education Coordinator Colleen Bumford brings everyone together for a quick check in. Miss Bumford checks personal flotation devices, goes over canoeing skills again, and reminds the group that they’re awesome!

    • And they’re off…

      And they’re off…

    • After an afternoon of canoeing, students return to campus and settle in at the Orchard cabin. Camping overnight at the cabin serves two purposes for our fifth graders: 1. A warm up before their first major trip to Mammoth Cave in the spring. 2. Community building within and amongst advisories.

      After an afternoon of canoeing, students return to campus and settle in at the Orchard cabin. Camping overnight at the cabin serves two purposes for our fifth graders: 1. A warm up before their first major trip to Mammoth Cave in the spring. 2. Community building within and amongst advisories.

    • Students are working together to assemble a tent for their overnight experience.

      Students are working together to assemble a tent for their overnight experience.

    • Each group makes their own tiny fire before they’re all moved to the middle, creating one giant fire. Hello s’mores!

      Each group makes their own tiny fire before they’re all moved to the middle, creating one giant fire. Hello s’mores!

    • Social studies is also incorporated into this experience: Everyone gathers together before calling it a night to chat about their journey the following day on White River. Social Studies teacher Teressa Hart is showing students a map with landmarks and bridges for students to reference. Mrs. Hart also explained the history of the White River floods and how they tried to prevent sewage from draining into the river.

      Social studies is also incorporated into this experience: Everyone gathers together before calling it a night to chat about their journey the following day on White River. Social Studies teacher Teressa Hart is showing students a map with landmarks and bridges for students to reference. Mrs. Hart also explained the history of the White River floods and how they tried to prevent sewage from draining into the river.

    • How teachers feel after 24 hours with their students! :)

      How teachers feel after 24 hours with their students! :)

    • Everyone is awake. Breakfast first, then it’s off to White River.

      Everyone is awake. Breakfast first, then it’s off to White River.

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