Home-schoolers hit the outdoors for adventure education
Relying on simple tools such as ropes, harnesses and carabiners, the students are learning life skills including teamwork, patience and most of all, trust.
"You are so high up, and you really have to be able to trust the people that are helping you down below," said Marc Landry, 15, of Londonderry.
Landry, a freshman, is one of about 20 home-schooled children participating in a unique wilderness survival course incorporating rope climbing, rock climbing, hiking and more.
On Thursday, the students gathered at Roy Memorial Park in Litchfield where a semi-permanent challenge course has been installed by Element Adventures of Manchester.
There, the students were given specific instructions and then encouraged to climb as much of the obstacle course as possible, relying on communication, teammates, knowledge and experience.
"The outdoors is a great medium for teaching. These kids are developing real life skills and having a great time doing it," said Ryan Chasse, owner of Element Adventures.
Chasse has been working with the students for several months, presenting them with different adventures such as snowshoeing, learning wilderness first aid, building winter shelters and studying basic winter survival skills.
Students had the opportunity to climb intermediate or more advanced rope courses, which incorporated ladders, platforms, tires, poles, trees and a zip line.
For many of the students, this was not their first time attempting the challenging obstacle course, which takes a lot of prep work, according to Chasse.
"I didn't realize I was afraid of heights until I was actually up there," said Shannon McClure, 17, of Amherst. "It takes a lot of strength and balance, and it was definitely harder than I anticipated."
Even with the harness being used, McClure says it is a nerve-wracking sport.
Her mother, Dawn McClure, agreed, saying she was quite nervous the first time her children climbed the ropes.
"But this is one of the greatest advantages of home-schooling - we can seek our own opportunities and plan the curriculum accordingly.
"Last week, I could hardly get my son off the rocks to go home," she said.
Learning outside of the classroom is incredibly beneficial, explained Dan Kiestlinger of Element Adventures, adding the wilderness survival course is an ideal physical education segment that seems to be very thrilling for youngsters.
It also pushes students who think they might not be able to accomplish something as challenging as a ropes course 35 feet high, added Chasse.
"I have learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know before this class. The most challenging part, I think most people would agree, is conquering your fear of heights," said Zach Hennessey, 17, of Windham.
While it can be a bit frightening initially, Hennessey said the fears are eventually replaced with excitement once the training kicks in and the knowledge learned is applied appropriately.
"It has been awesome watching them trust each other and build their team skills. It is such a learning experience for them," added Dawn McClure.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Burning rubber: And public dollars - 0
- Hassan was right: 'Bullying' bill goes too far - 11
- Strategery: A war by any other name - 29
- Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.? - 6
- Public be damned: Litchfield latest example - 2
- NH's 9/11 victims: We cannot forget - 0
- Celebrating Stark: And America, in Manchester - 0
- NH's Obamabots: Taking their cues from party bosses - 57
- Spending & voting: MayDay's wasted money - 5
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Charles Arlinghaus: NH's job problem needs more than one fix - 0
- USNH's raw deal: Part deux - 0
- College Sports Roundup: NEC's Locke scores twice in soccer win - 0
- NHIAA Roundup: Campbell, Jutras blank Gilford - 0
- Pirates stay hot, blank Red Sox - 0
- Londonderry police to open station to residents - 0
- Man accused of raping 13-year old in Nashua - 1
- NHIAA Golf: Crusaders teeing up special year - 0
- New Nashua computer curriculum stresses exam, lifetime skills - 0
Alleged accomplice in brutal Bedford home invasion, attack on doctor and wife, says his testimony was coerced
Seabrook mom pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder of her two children
Man accused of raping 13-year old in Nashua
Win tickets to see Demi Lovato
Another View -- Sharon Day: The Democrats' claim to be the party for women is just not believable
Win tickets to see Kip Moore
Another View -- Bill Duncan: What did the NH Supreme Court really say about private school funding?
Every vote counts: Here is the proof
USNH's raw deal: Part deux
Keene man charged with assault on 2-year-old
Labor fines proposed on school project