SCHOOLS & SPORTS Team­work in­spi­ra­tion

Rappahannock News - - SCHOOLS & SPORTS -

Wake­field Coun­try Day School stu­dents in grades 3 through 5 ven­tured this past week to the North­ern Vir­ginia 4-H Cen­ter in Front Royal for an en­er­getic day of team build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the great out­doors. In ad­di­tion to hands-on lessons in nat­u­ral re­sources, one goal of the trip was for stu­dents to see how ev­ery mem­ber of a group plays a vi­tal role in de­ci­sion mak­ing, de­ter­min­ing the out­come of the chal­lenge at hand.

The 4th and 5th graders tack­led a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties on the pic­turesque grounds in Har­mony Hol­low. While work­ing in teams to com­plete fun chal­lenges such as cross­ing sev­eral is­lands with­out touch­ing the ground, walk­ing a tightrope, and climb­ing a rock wall, 4-H pro­gram lead­ers en­cour­aged stu­dents to fo­cus on com­mu­ni­ca­tions skills.

Stu­dents also learned safety pro­to­cols, such as when they were re­quired to spot their friends dur­ing each chal­lenge. In ad­di­tion to lessons in col­lab­o­ra­tion, the 3rd grade stu­dents en­joyed for­est ex­plo­ration with Laura Harper, a 4-H pro­gram leader who led the group in stream sam­pling, lessons in for­est ecol­ogy, and an in­vig­o­rat­ing dis­cov­ery hike.

In each of the chal­lenges, the adult teach­ers and vol­un­teers watched the groups work through their ob­sta­cles and frus­tra­tions, and this pro­vided teach­ers valu­able in­sight into group dy­nam­ics in prob­lem­solv­ing sit­u­a­tions.

“This was one of the best trips I've ex­pe­ri­enced,” said 4th grade teacher Amanda Hoff­man af­ter watch­ing stu­dents work to­gether to solve not only phys­i­cal chal­lenges but also men­tal tasks. “One such chal­lenge in­volved stu­dents stack­ing tires.

“Five tires rang­ing in size from small to large had to be moved from one pole to an­other, and there were sev­eral rules that needed to be fol­lowed. For ex­am­ple, only one tire could be off at a time, and a larger tire could not rest on a smaller tire. Stu­dents worked hard for over 45 min­utes solv­ing this puz­zle. I was quite im­pressed with their per­se­ver­ance and great team work.”

“This was one of the best trips I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced,” said 4th grade teacher Amanda Hoff­man af­ter watch­ing stu­dents work to­gether to solve not only phys­i­cal chal­lenges but also men­tal tasks.

BY NIKKI BRADY.

Young WCDS stu­dents tackle a very tall rock wall at the 4-H cen­ter in Front Royal.

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