Outdoor Ed Model Achieves ‘Unconventional Learning’
Program for a local school district provides education with social-emotional support.
Rather than starting the 2020 school year working only on computers, K-6 students in Lake County School District (LCSD) in Leadville, Colorado, expanded their education at the 100 Elk Outdoor Center. Each student spent two days a week outside on the high ropes course, rock climbing, canoeing and going on eco hikes. For an hour each day, 100 Elk staff also helped students with academic packets assigned by their teachers.
A parent of an LCSD student who participated in 100 Elk shared her perspective on the program:
I am a 6th grade teacher as well as the parent of a preschooler and a 4th-grader. From my teacher perspective at an EL (Expeditionary Learning) Education school, I love that the 100 Elk program provides students with opportunities to practice some of EL’s design principles, such as Collaboration & Competition and Success & Failure.
My son came home one day last week with tales aligned with those design principles from his experience on the high ropes course – he collaborated and succeeded while working with a partner to climb a high ladder, and he experienced failure with The Leap of Faith challenge as he was the only student who did not try it. We had a great discussion about how it felt to be good at something versus not able to complete a task out of fear. His takeaway was, “I hope I get a chance to try [The Leap of Faith] again!”
My heart soared at this comment – it’s an unfortunate reality that as a teacher, I simply cannot provide students with those rich, exciting experiences every day, no matter how engaging my lesson. To me, this program is an ideal complement to our school days, and I believe that my child as well as my students are more engaged and excited about their fall during these uncertain times partly because they have the social emotional learning and challenging, physical outdoor education provided by 100 Elk.
About 100 Elk
The 100 Elk Outdoor Center provides outdoor education and character development programs in the fall and spring for schools and groups interested in experiential education. Its mission, “Revealing the Possibilities Within,” is at the core of its programming and is designed to help participants, individually and collectively, learn new things about themselves and others.
Youth Camp at the A/U Ranches
Our experiences change lives. At the A/U Ranches you’ll find a Christian Science atmosphere with staff dedicated to helping you see the role God plays in your life. Each program and activity is designed to help you break through limitations, reach your goals, and see God in action.