Experiences that become part of the soul

“The things that he sees are not just remembered.  They become part of his soul.”  Maria Montessori

As lead guide Suzanne Sanders reports, our MMS advanced elementary class had an amazing time at The Mountain Institute. Here’s her update on this year’s session:  “Every fall, we go on an overnight field trip designed to incorporate components of our curriculum with team building activities and conservation concepts. Some of the new students have the jitters at first, but, in the end, everyone walks away with a strong sense of accomplishment and a closer connection with each other.

CaversThe first afternoon, the students went to the top of Spruce Knob to learn how mountain ranges are formed and they went on a hike, stopping along the way to test rock samples, in order to identify them. We learned there is a lot of limestone in the area and that there once was an ocean covering Spruce Knob!

Thankfully, all students came prepared for the weather, because both nights reached the low 40’s, upper 30’s and we camped in tents! The Mountain Institute decked us out with durable tents and warm mummy sleeping bags. We were able to snuggle into our cozy bags after singing around a campfire and eating s’mores.

On day two, we explored the caves and underground stream at Osceola. Some of us hiked all the way through the cave system, while the others explored the large rooms and wriggled through a “worm hole.” A picnic lunch in a meadow under a sunny sky rounded out this excursion.

In addition to all of the learning experiences, we got together to play fun, cooperative games. The students continue to play them at free time and any chance they can.

Every year, our students come back feeling a strengthened sense of belonging to our group and a renewed respect for each other and nature.

Thank you Jack Rogers, Randy Melton, Lena Glasser and George Phillips for driving us!”