“We are lucky to teach students who are just
as enthusiastic about learning outside of the classroom.
We are leaving a legacy of appreciating and protecting our
~Sandy Butler, Outdoor Education Instructor
There are no worksheets in Outdoor Ed and the tests sometimes involve blisters and sweat. The classroom is nature and the manipulatives are compasses, canoes, shovels, and tents. Yet in a time when many adolescents focus their energy on IPads and IPods, it is refreshing to know that middle school students at Trinity Lutheran School clamber each fall for a chance to head outdoors to perform physical labor and to get their hands dirty. For more than 32 years, Outdoor Education, an elective led by veteran teacher and athletic director Sandy Butler, has been a mainstay at Trinity.
Beginning in sixth grade, students can spend two days a week immersed in preparations for the trips that are the hallmark of Outdoor Ed. Outdoor education allows a student to practice the ‘leave no trace’ ethics of outdoorsmanship, which say that our responsibility is to leave our outdoor world the same or better than we found it.
Included on the itinerary are beginning hikes on the Noland Trail, camping in Newport News Park, sharpening survival skills on a farm in South Hill, cavern explorations, National Park Civil War tours, bicycle excursions, and canoeing on the Shenandoah River.