The Scotia-Glenville Lions Club has contributed $1,500 toward Sacandaga Elementary School’s annual grade 5 trip to the Frost Valley YMCA Environmental Education Center in the Catskills from September 12 to 14.
Current grade 4 students who will be in Jeannine Dowdle's, Robert Gula's and Deborah Kitchen-Sears's grade 5 classes will go this fall. The S-G Lions Club donation will help lessen the costs for the nearly 70 students to attend the two- night, three-day camp.
The Board of Education approved the trip at its February 27 meeting.
Frost Valley YMCA is internationally known as a leader in environmental research, practice and education. The centerpiece of the environmental education efforts is a residential school program, which helps 14,000 students and teachers each year learn to become responsible stewards of the natural world.
The school sessions focus on "how to foster skills for trust, communication, positive group dynamics, and problem-solving", according to the website.
"I see kids learn to become more self-reliant being away from home, working as a team to serve a common purpose whether it is through a game like Project Adventure or making apple cider," said Dowdle. "One of my most meaningful experiences was watching students clap and cheer for some of their less athletic peers as they successfully completed a cable bridge or a ropes course. Students learn to take risks knowing there is much support and encouragement from everyone."
She said the staff is knowledgeable and that many of them has science backgrounds, making it easier to explain the "flora and fauna of the Catskills as we go on the half-a-day hike." She said part of the focus this past fall was examining the impact that Hurricane Irene had on the Catskills, a wonderful connection to the weather unit that students in grade 5 study.
Students take away life lessons from
the program, she said. "It is an experience they will remember for
many years, possibly for the rest of their lives," she added.