Real World Application

Everyone takes a trip at sometime in their life, and there is nothing like going out on your own for the first time

I remember one of the first trips I ever took to go camping - I had it all: tent, sleeping bag, new stove, day clothes, maps to get there, things to do - I was ready!!! As with other things, my plan was far from "perfect". in all of my excitement in geting out my cool "stuff", I left out a couple of details.

It's hard to cook and eat without utensils! I should have also found out where the closest store was - kind of important to know that it was 5 miles away, especially when you planned on buying food when you got there. Then there were a couple of other things - like, reservations? (I got lucky, there was a cancellation and I got a space), and weather - who would think about sub-freezing temperatures in July in Yosemite - "Not I", I said as I looked for more clothes and firewood at 2:30 in the morning!

I am still learning - planning is everything! On my most recent trip this summer with my family, we hurredly made reservations to go camping in an area we thought would be nice - pictures on the website were of the "nearby beach", lots of great activities, close to lots of sights - Perfect! Prior to going we called - nearby beaches were 5 miles away (there is that number again...), and many of the activities cost money - expected that, but $5 for a half-hour of biking, playing ping-pong, and yes, playing the piano! We should have asked.

We still went, and weren't overly-joyed with the experience, but there were some things to be learned!

First of all, we way overpacked! More than half of the things we brought were never used.

Second, call and ask the host prior to going- they can give you a lot of information you can't get on the website! In addition to what I mentioned, you couldn't collect firewood, and they charged $5 for a small box of kinding, and $9 for 4 logs of Dead Wood which burned like flashpaper!

Third, take your time to research where you are going - don't rush and settle! This last lesson was really driven home (parden the pun) on our trip home down the coast. We came across 5 campsites, right on the beach, all cheaper, in better locations, and with plenty of free activities! Ever wish you could do your vacation all over again?

My goal is to give my students a chance to plan a trip, persuade others to go on it, present it to the principal and school board, prepare and train for the trip, go on the outdoor adventure, and reflect upon their experience.

By planning a trip students will get todo this "first-hand", with all of the responsibilty of planning the trip along with the ultimate reward of going on it and all of the "Oops" experiences as well. The learning on this project will be real! This meets several PE standards but is cross curriculum as well. I want my students to be able to feel confident that if they find some pursuit or sport that sparks their interest, that they can reasearch, plan and implement a trip to experience that idea. Being able to find and experience outdoor pursuits is one major part of reaching a fun and health-enhancing level of fitness.

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