Outdoor Education for Elementary, Middle and High School Students
- Outdoor Education Activities
- Challenge Activities
- Environmental Education Activities
- Group Games
- Evening Activities
- Field Trips
- Permission Form
Outdoor Education Activities
These activities are choices every group has as part of the program. They are all approximately 1 hour, and will count as 1 activity period.
A great way to introduce the theme of Outdoor Education! These are a series of group building and problem solving activities that teach listening and cooperation. Popular low initiatives include the Electric Fence, Sinking Islands, Whale Watch, and Caterpillar Walkers. The students will share in excitement of achieving a common goal before moving onto the next activity.
Students will be taught the basics of target shooting. After learning the different parts of the bow and arrow, each participant will have a chance to practice this skill. Proper safety and supervision is a very important aspect of this activity.
In this activity, students will learn how to communicate more effectively with their peers and families. A basic introduction to the different forms of communication will lead into games that stress proper chains of communication, active listening and group problem solving.
Student will spend this activity period learning to make a camp craft project. Small amounts of supplies are used to create a simple craft. In the past, different projects have included iron beads, friendship bracelets, beaded geckos, plastic lanyards, bird feeders, god’s eyes, dream catchers and nature prints. Due to our ordering cycles, craft projects may be requested, but not necessarily guaranteed.
Students will learn how to use a compass and navigate through our outdoor courses. For the younger classes, a basic geometry lesson will allow them to understand the directional markings on the compass. Students will be in groups of 2 or 3, allowing them to learn and share responsibilities while they use the compass.
This lesson involves the students practicing a simulated wilderness camping experience. Students will learn about water collection and shelter design, along with a closely supervised fire-building segment. Students will also learn the principles of “low impact camping,” keeping our natural setting clean and friendly for all to enjoy.
These activities are additional options to the standard program. An additional fee per student is noted in parentheses. Each is 1 activity period or 1 hour unless noted.
High Ropes Course
This challenge course requires 2 activity periods. Students will be instructed on all safety procedures on the ground before entering the course. A continuous belay system will keep the participants completely safe at all times. The students will spend a considerable amount of time 24’ or 36’ above the ground amongst the pine trees. This activity is for 6th grade students and older. ($10)
This 50’ rock wall will challenge the students physically and also promotes self-esteem. Six climbing routes are available, and positive group interaction is stressed before the activity. All students will wear a harness and helmet for safety. The counselor will be responsible for checking the equipment and the students will be attached to an auto belay system while they climb up the wall. This activity is for any age group! ($4)
Big Zip Line
A spiral staircase entrance takes you to the top of the 50’ tower. A giant leap off the platform takes you sailing across the field 200’! Any age can zip! ($2)
Vertical Team Elements
The cargo net and dangle-duo are perfect for teamwork and group building. Students will belay each other up 50’ keeping the focus on communication and encouragement. ($4)
This is our most challenging high initiative activity. Students will attempt to climb a 28’ tall pole and stand on the very top. From there, they will make a leap towards a buoy. The rest of the group will assist the counselors in belaying the climber. As always, proper safety equipment is used and responsibility is stressed. This activity is for 6th grade or older. ($4)
Another individual challenge set 30’ off the ground, the students will climb the wood pole and exit the platform down our 200’ long zip line. Safety equipment and positive encouragement from the group are major components to this activity. Because of the nature of the activity, it is reserved for students 4th grade or older. ($4)
Environmental Education Activities
These activity periods complement the Michigan Science Benchmarks for elementary and middle school. While they are not comprehensive science lessons, they do allow students to observe our natural settings and apply current classroom topics. Interactive games, hikes, discussions and hands-on learning assist students in their investigation of the environment. A copy of the specific Michigan Science Benchmarks we touch on is available upon request.
A number of interactive games and role-playing activities teach students basic ecological principals such as adaptation, food chains, and food webs. Students explore some of the diverse habitats at Camp Hayo-Went-Ha and predict what kinds of animals would be best suited for that environment. Posters, bones, and other animal artifacts supplement the instruction.
These activities teach children about the dangers facing our local environment. Children will learn about reducing, re-using and recycling, and discuss ways they can help protect the environmental quality of Northern Michigan.
GeologyStudents learn the geologic history of Northern Michigan through the different stones and landforms surrounding Torch Lake. Students will also have the opportunity to search for a Petoskey stone or another fossil to take home.
InsectsStudents will collect insects from several different habitats, observe them up close and reflect on the similarities and differences they find. Best choice for late spring and early fall when insects are easier to locate. Interactive games and discussions give students an insight into insect ecology.
TreesThis lesson is designed to introduce children to native trees of Northern Michigan. Students will learn tree identification and the role trees play in the environment on a guided hike along our cedar swamp boardwalk.
Predator / Prey
This game simulates the food chain in nature. Students are classified as herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores. Once children are instructed on how to play and learn their primary objectives, the game begins. Counselors represent natural disasters in this large-scale scavenger hunt. This activity requires 1˝ - 2 activity periods.
This early Michigan history game simulates life in the 1800’s. Students will learn about Farmers, Trappers, Prospectors, and Lumberjacks. Within their family group, they will have to complete a store contract by means of a scavenger hunt, trading with other families, and bartering with the storekeeper. This activity requires 1˝ - 2 activity periods.
These activities are available for an overnight experience. Preferences for these activities are helpful in advance. Every group staying overnight will be provided with a snack before bedtime.
Field games Skit Nights
Campfires Night Hikes
Dutch Auctions Scavenger Hunts
We offer local field trips for groups staying more than 3 days. Area attractions include Grass River Natural Area, Lake Michigan beaches, and Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.
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- Extended Trips
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