Each spring and fall, DuBois Center invites scores of middle school students to disconnect from their electronics and connect with nature and each other. Nature’s Classroom is an outdoor, experiential education program designed to give students the opportunity to explore relevant topics while immersed in a nontraditional setting.
“Class” topics include creek hikes focused on stream quality and its impact on aquatic life, primitive skills such as building shelters in the woods or making dip candles and clay pots, basic rocket science with 2-liter bike-pump bottle rockets, predator-prey relationships through a giant game of hide-and-seek tag; the nocturnal world and our senses, and favorites like archery and horseback riding.
Throughout their stay, the students’ curiosity is cultivated and critical thinking skills enhanced. The focus on team building and the residential aspect of our program encourage the building of healthy relationships with classmates.
These comments from student evaluations tell the story: “I learned I can work really well with my class and enjoy doing it.” “I learned I like being outdoors a lot more than I thought I did.” “Sometimes you don’t even know you’re learning, because it’s so much fun.” “I loved the food.”