BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University’s Department of Physical Education, Health and Sport and the BSU Foundation teamed up this morning to provide a unique opportunity to area sixth graders to learn through adventure. The inaugural Building Bonds and Breaking Barriers Through Adventure Day introduced students to adventure through a progression of learning activities and helped develop essential communication skills through activities which promoted teamwork and initiative.
Seventy-six sixth-grade students from area elementary schools participated in today’s event, including students from Red Lake, Nevis and Cass Lake.
Participants broke out into six student-led groups, and beginning at 9:30 a.m. participated in a variety of activities including community building, problem solving and trust building exercises and a 30-minute session on the rock climbing wall in the Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center.
“The rock climbing wall is something these kids don’t get a chance to do normally,” said Calvin Gunn, sixth-grade teacher from Nevis. “It’s fun to see them get to the top. The kids are having a good time with the other activities, too.”
The day’s activities were led by Bemidji State students pursuing a minor in outdoor education and assisted by physical education majors.
“This is a good learning opportunity for our students,” said Sally Wiltse, assistant professor of physical education, health and sport. “They come in with a plan for how they’re going to spend their time, and once the kids get involved they sometimes find that plan won’t always work the way they thought. This gets them to think on their feet a little bit and react to different situations that arise and still keep their teaching goals in mind.”
At noon, participants had a box lunch provided through a grant from the BSU Foundation, and the Adventure Day activities concluded with a certificate presentation ceremony in each group at 1 p.m.
The Adventure Day activities were provided at no charge to school districts other than transportation to get students to the Bemidji State campus.
For more information on Building Bonds and Breaking Barriers Through Adventure Day, please contact the Department of Physical Education, Health and Sport at (218) 755-2940.