Every fall, the fifth grade class at Indian Mountain spends a night in the woods located on the school’s campus. Though it is only a short hike from the campus buildings and athletic fields to our campsite, it is a new and exciting wilderness experience for all. With the help of Indian Mountain Adventure staff, students work together on team-building excises, wilderness skills and low-elements ropes course activities.

Students first have the opportunity to bond as a class by participating in communication and teamwork oriented activities on our athletic fields. Here, they also learn the basics of camp set-up, including how to pitch a tent, filter water, and cook food. Once at the campsite, students break into smaller groups to participate in low-ropes course activities. A favorite of many is the mentally and physically challenging “Whale Watch,” in which students must work as a team to steady a rocking platform. Students learn quickly that communication and cooperation is as important as balance in completing this activity.

After a challenging and fun day, the class sets up camp, cooks dinner, and relaxes by the campfire, where stories are told and marshmallows are roasted. Later in the evening, everyone has the chance to experience a short night hike before turning in for the evening.

In the morning, the class hikes back down, perhaps exhausted but certainly exhilarated from their night on Indian Mountain.