If you’ve never watched a group of (over) eager sixth graders complete an Indiana Jones-esque rope swing across an imaginary canyon, you’re missing out on a laugh or two.
It’s even better when you tell them that they must first retrieve the rope that’s hanging just out of arm’s reach.
That’s when the true magic happens.
As a first year facilitator for Adventure Day, I did not expect to get the amount of laughs, surprises, and insights our sixth grade classes would give. When a group completed a course, smiles then a cheer would swell in the crowd and it was impossible not to join in.
What’s really gratifying, though, is watching the thought process that goes into it.
At times teachers and facilitators watching would have to bite their tongues and turn away. Having seen these challenges completed numerous times before, it’s difficult to resist the urge to say, "No, no, no. You do it like this."
But that’s the moment when you see the quietest kid in the group who’s been hovering along the corners say, "What if we did it this way?"
That’s the moment when, after trying the same thing for 20 minutes, they realize the board is too short and you must use two instead.
When I was first asked to help with this year’s Adventure Days, I admittedly didn’t know what I was signing up for. Now after going through the experience with classes from Hilltop, Naselle, Raymond, South Bend, and Willapa Valley, I can’t imagine a year without it.
If you’re wondering how the classes fared on "Prouty’s Landing," I can tell you every single group completed it. If you want to find out how they got the rope, I encourage you to sign up as a facilitator for our upcoming Adventure Days in September and October.
Many thanks to Brandon Scheer with Ocean Park Camp and Retreat Center and Dotsi Graves with Pacific County Fairgrounds for maintaining and making the low ropes courses available to us. Countless thanks to our facilitators Colton Christner, Tessa Clements, Jean Fisher, Alyssa Grams, Kelsey Hopstad, Sheena Humphreys, Vinessa Karnofski, Katie Lindstrom, Nichole Lopez, Becca Manlow, and Taryn Pongratz. Of course, these events would not have been possible without the tireless coordination and facilitation by Gracie Manlow.