Madison Graham’s birthday is going to be extra special this year.
That’s because she and her Grade 6 class at Whitefish Valley Public School are spending it at Kingfisher Outdoor Education Centre.
She turned 11-years-old Wednesday but Madison said she was excited as soon as their bus pulled up.
But she admitted she was also a little nervous because it was her first time away from home.
“I've never really been away from my mom and dad for this long before,” Madison said. “But it’s pretty special that I’m having my birthday here at Kingfisher.”
The first of the three-day adventure, which started Monday, began with orientation. After that the students learned about how to classify animals, plant life as well as some real life skills including cooking and building a fire.
So far, Madison said her favourite part of her trip to Kingfisher has been the cooking. She and her cabin mates attempted a full dinner on their own. It only partially turned out as they needed assistance with starting their fire. She said she hopes the experience will allow her to cook dinner for her parents when she goes back home.
The school’s principal, Maureen Abbott, said the 15 students will be able to learn real life skills like cooking and being able to fend for themselves. Kingfisher allows them to learn these skills in a fun but in a different environment than the classroom.
“When we come to Kingfisher, the kids come to the learning,” Abbott said.
“For example, one of the curriculum areas that Grade 6 students would be studying would be about the biodiversity of life and the classification of living things. Our kids were out on the dock catching animals and bringing them up and classifying them. They were really learning the science curriculum hands on.”
Students at Whitefish visit Kingfisher at least three times while attending elementary school but Abbott said the two nights during their Grade 6 visit can be challenging for some.
Despite that Abbott said it’s an experience they will never forget.
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