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Sixth graders learn in the great outdoors

Sept. 21, 2022

After a couple years’ hiatus, the annual Outdoor Ed trip for Elizabeth Middle School sixth graders resumed last week. A team of staff members and parent chaperones took 110 middle schoolers to La Foret Retreat Center in Black Forest from Sept. 12-14. Students stayed in cabins with chaperones and spent three days exploring the wilderness through structured activities and team-building exercises. Along with a one-mile hike every morning, each student participated in a three-hour-long high-element ropes course.

“We all got to know each other better and made some great memories over the three days,” said Kim Hicks, science teacher. “EMS staff are already planning for another wonderful adventure for our incoming sixth graders next year!”

Mark Sauter served as a parent chaperone and sent a note to the school about his experience, which is shared here with his permission: “I just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your very professional and passionate teachers. Ms. Hicks, Ms. Mayorga, Mr. Endo, Mr. Stone, and Mr. Jones were kind, compassionate, firm but fair, and extremely patient the entire trip. Just sitting back and observing them, it was very clear that they enjoy their jobs and take the time to know each and every single student on an individual level.

“I must have heard ‘put that stick down’ at least 50 times during the trip, but never once did any of these professionals lose their temper or patience with the children. While I have always had great respect for teachers, being able to see them interacting with these kids just increased the amount of respect I have for each and every one of them. I feel very grateful that our move to Elizabeth landed my three kids in this school district.”

EMS sixth graders gather in Black Forest

Sixth grade girls pose for a picture during their Outdoor Ed trip

A student tries the ropes course during the EMS Outdoor Ed trip

EMS students work on an assignment during their Outdoor Ed trip

A pair of EMS students pose for a picture in Black Forest

EMS sixth graders gather in a large room on one of the nights of their Outdoor Ed trip