Hundreds of third-grade students take part in environmental-learning field trips to Camp Long

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More than 350 third-grade students participated in field trips to Camp Long in September, where they experienced the magic of Camp Long’s hands-on environmental-learning programs through educational forest hikes, a restoration project and rock climbing classes on an outdoor rock wall. An estimated 80% of the students who participated in the field trips come from low-income families who receive free or reduced lunch.

The field trips were designed to introduce students to the natural world, foster an interest in environmental learning and promote healthy outdoor activities. Through the field trips, students restored several hundred square feet of natural area, connected with nature on their hikes while recording an average of nearly 3,000 steps more than on a typical school day, and increased their heart rates an average of 27 beats per minute after climbing the outdoor rock wall!

All teachers surveyed responded that they agree or strongly agree that their students were able to access outdoor recreation they would not normally have access to, were more physically active than at school, and felt their students connected to the natural world on a deeper level.

One teacher told us “My students were able to draw conclusions between the lifecycle of trees and the lifecycle of humans.” Another teacher commented on the rock climbing experience, saying her students “learned they can take care of themselves by trying hard and not giving up.”  And another teacher said “My students learned they can take care of their community by pulling out the invasive English Ivy to protect the forest.”

But perhaps best of all was the feedback we received from a third grader from Arbor Heights Elementary, who excitedly told us “This is the best field trip ever!”.

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