Outside of the classroom: The power of outdoor education camps

Written by : Jennifer Mathieu

In a world that is increasingly becoming more technologically advanced, it is essential for students to have opportunities to disconnect from their devices and connect with nature. This is precisely what happened when the 6th and 7th grade students of Cheongna Dalton School  participated in a three-day outdoor education camp with Adventure Korea. During this camp, students were able to engage in a range of outdoor activities to improve the bond with their classmates in nature.

As the bus pulled up to the Nature Recreation Forest, the excitement among the students was palpable. After a quick briefing, we divided the students into two groups, eager to begin the day’s activities. One group was off to tackle the challenge of orienteering, while the other group was preparing for an adrenaline-pumping zipline adventure.

The ecoteering activity was no walk in the park. Ecoteering combines orienteering and ecology. Orienteering is a fun, competitive sports where you have to find hidden checkpoints and challenges through different types of terrain using a map and a compass.

Before the students could embark on their zipline adventure, they were given a detailed briefing on the safety instructions and proper use of the equipment. The instructors demonstrated how to properly put on the harness, helmet, and gloves, and went over the do’s and don’ts of ziplining. Once the briefing was complete, it was time to put theory into practice. The students eagerly approached the starting point of the zipline, a tower that towered over the surrounding trees. At the top of the tower, the students were securely harnessed to the zipline, and with a few encouraging words from the instructors, they launched themselves off the platform and soared through the air, suspended by nothing but a wire. As they made their way back down to the forest floor, the students were buzzing with excitement, thrilled to have conquered their fears and experienced the thrill of ziplining. 

After a full day of adventure at the Nature Recreation Forest , the students were ready to wind down with their final activity of the day. Upon arriving in Gangwondo, the group settled in and enjoyed a satisfying dinner before participating in a team-building activity. Led by skilled instructors, the students worked together to build communication, trust, and problem-solving skills, forging stronger bonds as they did so. With the first day’s activities behind them, the students retired to their accommodations, excited for what the rest of the trip had in store.

The second day of the outdoor education camp started with a delicious breakfast, followed by the maze exploration, challenge course, and bushcraft activities. The first group navigated through the maze and accomplished some missions. After the maze, they conquered physical obstacles in the challenge course.

In the woods, the second group learned crucial survival skills, including water purification techniques, knot-tying, and shelter building. With each skill they mastered, the students grew more self-sufficient and independent, honing the abilities necessary to thrive in the great outdoors. Meanwhile, the first group worked on their map reading and teamwork skills in the maze and tested their physical limits on the challenge course, cheering each other on and building bonds that would last long after the camp was over.

Before dinner, the students had a fun-filled day with a biking lesson and a cooking class where they learned how to make delicious traditional Korean buns called Jjinppang (찐빵).

The evening was capped off with a bonfire where they shared stories and laughter, and a talent show where the students showcased their unique skills and talents.

On the final day of the trip, the students started off with a delicious breakfast before embarking on their last adventure: orienteering. Armed with maps and compasses, they navigated their way around the accommodation to find all the designated checkpoints.

As the orienteering activity came to an end, it was time for the students to bid farewell and head back home. Throughout the three days, we hope the students had a blast and gained valuable experiences. We also hope they forged strong bonds with their classmates and created unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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