Sixth Grade Alpine Meadows Rope Course Trip

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The ropes course trip was filled with some very powerful moments for the sixth grade. This experience allowed us to meet some intense challenges and support each other as we worked together. As the class teacher, I learned a lot from the Lodestone Adventures Staff about “Teambuilding Initiatives” which took place in the morning of the high ropes course events. The students were split into two groups of ten, and facilitators Crystal and Devon gave the students problems to solve as a group. The most memorable activities were the “Bridge over the Acid-Poison River” and the “Flip the Tiny Tarp” problems.

At one point Devon said to the students, “When people are presented with a problem, there are those who want to do, those who want to plan, and those who don’t know what’s going on.” After watching the sixth grade, I would add that the students who seemingly “did not know what was going on” were watching, evaluating silently and respectfully, and later contributing in valuable ways. I observed that many students talked a lot, and loudly over each other.  This was their challenge. According to the facilitators, this is very natural for this age group.

By the time we were through with these morning activities, everyone had a sense of their importance in the group; Devon and Crystal reinforced many times that someone is still contributing even when he or she is simply following directions. It is not just the person calling out commands who is important to the process. It requires all those who cooperated in various ways to make the final outcome possible. Devon also told the students, “You do not fail until you give up,” and this was evident with the afternoon of high ropes events. Every child succeeded on this trip, because all of the sixth graders pushed themselves beyond their comfort zone, which is what the ropes course is designed to do. We can all look back on what we did (I tried it, too), and now when we encounter a fearsome activity one day in the future, we will be able to say, “If I can do the high ropes course, I can tackle this challenge. The Tarzan Traverse was certainly harder than this!”

~Peggy Reilly, grade six class teacher