Posted by: csdailyblog | September 1, 2012

Preparing for Exploration Week in Field Instruction Class

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One of the Field Instruction activities in Friday afternoon’s class exemplified Conserve School’s philosophy of learning by doing — and having some fun at the same time. Students learned how well their rain gear worked by putting it on; fastening all the Velcro, zippers, and drawstrings; and hunching down in their rain jackets like turtles as Field Instructors poured buckets of lake water over their heads.

This exercise, held on the shore of Big Donahue Lake, right behind the Lowenwood Recreation Center, or LRC, was part of a long-block afternoon lesson that focused on selecting appropriate clothing for Exploration Week, our week-long backpacking or canoeing trip, which is coming up soon. (Students can choose whether to canoe or backpack.)

The most important messages from this Field Instruction lesson included: 1) Cotton is bad (it loses its insulating properties and gets heavy when wet — and it stays wet forever); 2) Synthetics are good (they dry quickly and stay relatively light and warm even when wet); and 3) Winter caps and long underwear need to go on the packing list (below-freezing weather in September is common in the Northwoods).

In addition to the rain-gear splash party and the discussion of Exploration Week clothing, students learned about nutrition on backpacking and canoeing trips (plan for extra calories) and got their heart rates up with a fast-moving game of amoeba tag.

– Mary Anna Thornton, Assistant Head of School

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