Every year the entire 6th grade class takes a trip to the Pali Institute for Outdoor Education in California. Students spend two nights and three days at camp learning and growing together. Hear from our teachers about the BENEFITS of Outdoor Education.
"Students learn loads of information within the four walls of our classrooms, but when you get them outside, there's a whole new level of comprehension and interest involved. These 6th graders thrive on activities, discovery-based learning, and hands-on anything, so when PALI combines those three things--the kids gain so much. The bonds that form between two students who may have never met during the school year, but who bunk together, sit at meals in the cafeteria together, help each other up a steep hill, or cheer each other on when the ropes course becomes scary--those bonds are sometimes stronger than that between two students who have worked on group projects throughout the year together or sat in the same class. There is also value in just getting outside, taking a breath of fresh air, and praising God for His glorious creation!"-Ms. Hughes
"The best part of PALI is that our students get to step away from their busy, technology-filled lives and get to spend some time in the beauty of God's creation of nature while learning about it and spending quality time together."-Mr. Brandon Buskirk
"At Pali, I see students grow in confidence, independence and leadership skills as they venture outdoors to learn about God's creation and experience outdoor activities together with new friends. We see students supporting one another in their adventures, gaining confidence to try new things, reaching out to build new friendships and celebrating each other's successes. Students gain a new perspective and appreciation of the role they play in our world, and help others to have the courage to step out of their comfort zone and try new things."-Mrs. Colette Fried
"The Pali trip is a short adventure in which students bond with other students and are challenged to face the fears they may have such as being away from their parents or a high ropes course. It is an opportunity for emotional, social, and spiritual growth." -Mrs. Angie Rua
"Our beloved sixth-graders –and truly even adults –often develop a form or a mold for themselves. This mold keeps them, and even us as adults, feeling comfortable, safe, and secure. It is a mold that keeps fear and anxiousness out. This mold can be healthy because it is important to feel secure and safe. However, this mold can also be crippling for it keeps someone from enjoying adventure and seeing and exploring amazing tapestries that God has given to us to explore. John Muir buttresses this important point in a way writing, “Keep close to Nature’s heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.” Therefore, Outdoor Education breaks down the proverbial ‘mold’ and allows a sixth-grader to taste, explore, and learn more about the creative hand of God: “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork...” Psalm 19:1. Furthermore, by providing sixth-grade with an Outdoor Education experience, it permits the student to become exposed or vulnerable for a few days by providing opportunity to befriend someone new, to taste something different, to learn something new about our beautiful creation, and overcome fears, like with the high-ropes course. Outdoor Education creates a new mindset and even says loudly for the student, “I don’t really need to adopt a mold in the first place!” -Mr. Jesse Wagenaar