Lancaster Country Day School overnight trips stress science and teamwork

Lancaster Country Day School seventh-graders give ziplines their undivided attention during an overnight trip to Refreshing Mountain Retreat and Adventure Center in Stevens. (2018)

Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from Lancaster Country Day School were part of overnight trips in November that included hands-on life science and conservation lessons as well as bonding and team-building exercises, according to a report from students Julia Bono, Luke Brosi and Nisha Mele.

The youngest students learned about teamwork and nature on a trip to Outdoor School at the Penn State Nature Center at Shaver’s Creek. Their focus included pollution, soil, erosion and the water cycle. A highlight was a flyover by a broad-shouldered hawk named Tea. The students also learned about raptors.

In addition, Penn State students and camp counselors helped Country Day sixth-graders envision 19th-century life by performing tasks of the time — making butter, weaving and woodworking.

Seventh-graders focused on team building during their trip to Refreshing Mountain Retreat and Adventure Center in Stevens. Students faced their fears when flying down ziplines; bonds were made during fun-filled time around a campfire.

For eighth-graders, the trip was an educational one to the Echo Hill Outdoor School in Worton, Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. They spent the majority of each day with their “tribes” of 10-12 students on activities including an adventure class, climbing a 70-foot tower and walking the circuitous paths of the farm to feed the goats.

Students learned to build fires and small, wind-resistant shelters using only the resources around them on the beach. At night, they went canoeing through swamps and then reunited at a campfire.