Outdoor Learning @ Camp Cheerio

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Sixth grade began on Tuesday, August 3rd. Six school days went by and then we were off to Glade Valley, North Carolina with about 100 eager middle school students. We dropped our bags in the cabins, ate a delicious lunch, and began our adventure. We got to canoe down the New River, the second oldest river in the world. The cloud cover and refreshing rain only added to the afternoon filled with giggles, surprises, and accomplishments. For some it was getting in a canoe for the first time. For others, it was navigating the rocks and the rapids. Teamwork and the anticipation of what was around the bend got us to our end point.

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One of my favorite challenges was the Vertical Playpen. I was in awe of students who appeared shy or less showy yet persevered to the very top with the encouragement and support of their team. I have so much respect for the student who says he likes to “keep his feet on the ground” yet decided to attempt the climbing wall and was successful.

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One of personal favorites was the hike up, on top of, and down Stone Mountain. For the first time we completed it in reverse this year. Perhaps it was in my head, but it felt easier than beginning with the 1/2 mile, incredibly steep incline we usually tackle.

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A new challenge this year was Fun and Games. You can see part of the obstacle course at the top of this post and we ended with the Slip ‘n Slide.

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From Energizers to campfire stories, each and every individual stepped out of his or her comfort zone and discovered something new. Friendships were forged and renewed. There was laughter. Lots of laughter. We are grateful for this 6th grade rite of passage. We love Camp Cheerio!

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