by Aaron Shepard, Rachael Sanguinetti, and Seth Hopkins
Allendale Columbia’s seventh grade recently spent a week hiking, biking, and canoeing in the Canadian wilderness at Camp Pathfinder, a camp for boys owned and operated by AC alumnus Mike Sladden ’76. It’s located on Pathfinder Island on Source Lake in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. Students spent five days working together and learning a variety of outdoor skills, including fire building and shelter construction. They also explored the history of painter Tom Thomson, a prolific 20th-century Canadian artists who died in the park under mysterious circumstances and was one of the first voices to articulate a Canadian national identity. (more…)
Posted in: AC in the News, Authentic Learning, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade
The students participating in AC’s annual Pathfinder trip had an amazing experience on Wednesday and Thursday: an overnight canoe trip to Little Island. We started by packing our dry sacs and other equipment into large backpacks then loading them into the canoes and departing from Source Lake.
From there, small groups ventured out on four different routes that brought them to four or five additional lakes with five portages of up to 1380 meters. We all made it to Little Island for a night of tenting, bonfires, campfire meals, and lots of fun despite the cold and bit of rain. The next morning each group lit their fires again to make breakfast before packing up for their canoe and portage trip back, which again brought them onto four or five additional lakes and portages.
Once everyone was back at Camp Pathfinder, we assembled for a fun game of Message to Garcia. It was a very close game, but the White team won. Chalk one up for the Blue/White Day challenges that begin in a couple of weeks.
A fun pizza party, dance, and game night took place after our delicious dinner that included warm mini apple pies. That night we celebrated some birthdays as well as the accomplishments of the past week. Star gazing was also amazing as we made our way back to our tents and cabins.
Campers got a good night’s sleep and woke on Friday to see a layer of ice on the swim dock. Liza Cotter decided that she would not let a little ice hold her back from taking the polar bear plunge to become the sole member of this year’s AC Polar Bear Plunge Club. Way to go, Liza! Then we all warmed up by four bonfires at the council fire pit as campers tried their hand at making a delicious breakfast by bonfire. Their egg, bacon, and cheese bagels were a warm and tasteful reward to their cooking efforts.
It was an amazing week! The seventh grade students have accomplished so much and have grown by their efforts. They should be very proud of everything that they have done this week. The camp staff deserves a round of applause for helping to ensure a safe and wonderful week of outdoor fun and adventure.
Posted in: Middle School, Seventh Grade
Due to it being such a cold and snowy winter, we were not able to tap the maple trees until now. So, with drills, buckets, and taps in hand, the eighty Allendale Columbia Middle School students plus teachers and Pat Sadler from WoodWise Land Management ventured out into the twenty degree weather on Saint Patrick’s Day to tap over thirty trees on campus. Excitement filled the air despite the lack of green outdoors!
The weather forecast is looking very good for a run of sap in the coming weeks with predictions of upper 30s to 40s during the day and 20s at night. Perfect weather! Stay tuned for updates on our adventures.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade
The seventh grade students at Allendale Columbia School shared their knowledge and expertise about maple sugaring with eager third grade students. Each seventh grade student was partnered with a third grade buddy to talk about the process then escorted them to the woods on campus, so they could tap their own sugar maple trees. This partnership has been named “Adopt a Tree,” and science teacher Beth Guzzetta is thrilled to have her class strengthen their understanding about maple sugaring by teaching Peggy Hellebush’s younger students. The Middle School students look forward to helping the Lower School students as they embark on this once in a lifetime collaborative journey.
Posted in: Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Third Grade