Saturday, March 12, 2016

Stewards of the Earth

Maine, March and the weather from one day to the next is anyone's best guess. Half of the outer wear I started with was shoved into my LL Bean backpack. Scarf, gloves, down vest and hat-hiking necessities made rummaging for water, fruit or nuts during the climb a challenge. Gorham Mountain in Acadia an easy climb affords breathtaking views one-third of the way to the summit. I am embarrassed to say, I think the last time I ascended this mountain was seven years ago when I brought my class. Despite living here, many kids reported to have never climbed a mountain or walked on the carriage paths in Acadia. A decade ago, I was determined to change this for kids. Each month we walked or hiked. After a few class hikes, some students were able to get their parents into the park to walk. Our new administrator did not see the benefits of this experience.  However she did not witness the elation of kids when they reach a summit or the wonder in realizing that with each hike and they recognized being stronger and more fit. She did not witness tender moments six and seven year olds looking out for each other and offering a hand over rough spots as we ambled over boulders to the top. Today as I climbed this mountain again with my friends who teach with me, I couldn't help but feel a little sad and wonder without  positive experiences outdoors, how will our children become stewards of this earth in the future? 

1 comment:

Heather Dorr said...

Oh! This makes me want to schedule a field trip! We should revisit this and offer these experiences to our students! When teaching the whole child, we must remember that it's not all about classroom academics. Let's get these kiddos outside!