Experiencing Learning

(Saturday September 13, 2014)

Zipline Georgia Zipline Georgia

Today was full of experiential learning in the woods. (Just goes to show once again how you can learn at camp thing that school can’t always teach you.)

The day started with a bird show where my family learning a ton of history about falconing. It is one of the oldest forms of hunting, and it is still used today. There are lots of relations between humans and birds because many different groups would watch them and try to imitate their behaviors. Specifically, native Americans would praise birds and often create dances based of of their behaviors. One of my favorite types of birds is the owl. I’m not 100% sure why, but I’ve always found them to be really cool. The deadliest predator on the earth is currently a type of owl that weights 36oz. With my love of Disney, I was also very interested when he would connect the stories to Disney movies like Mulan, Hunchback of Notredam, and The Legends of Ghoul. Mulan was a real story (despite the talking animals), and they the falconers about the falcon in the movie and how it was trained. We learned specifically a bunch about different types of birds and telling the differences between them. Some of the most entertaining parts was when the birds wouldn’t cooperate which was also neat because it showed some of the natural behaviors of the animals. What really got to me was when he mentioned the Mongols. We spent a lot of time learning about them in history last year because it is most of my grade’s favorite civilization (which is debatable). However, I never learned about how the Mongols would use golden falcons (I think that was the bird he said) so often to hunt. I learned a ton today about birds and past civilizations in 1 hour today, and I had a great time watching the birds too.

The bird show was fun, but it wasn’t the highlight of the day. The middle of the day was saved for the reason we came here; to zip line. The camp is mainly a zip lining camp and there are different levels of zip lines you can go on. My parents weren’t sure how we would react to the zip lining, so we started on  the “Crazy Squirrel” course which is meant for all ages (so it wasn’t very hard, but still fun). It had some low ropes activities like walking across wires and rope bridges, and also a few lower zip lines. We all enjoyed it so then we went on the level one course. We went from watching birds to seeing things from a birds eye view. We also learned a bunch of physics stuff. The entire idea of a zip line is based around physics. Cadyn and Kylie both couldn’t do courses higher than level one because they didn’t weigh enough so they wouldn’t be able to make it to the platforms. Sometimes they would tell you to tuck really hard to make sure that you would make it if the drop was low and then it dipped up some at the end. Before we went up the guides would also have to tell us about breaking and how friction between our hand and the wire will slow us down. You had to keep your hand flat because if you held on you would just hyper extend your arm, and it wouldn’t create friction, but if you needed to slow down fast, you could push down on the wire with it flat still.

While we were waiting to zip line we played some pool. My siblings and I aren’t very good. We could barely hit it, but we had fun still. By the end we were doing better at least. Our parents were teaching us, and with Cadyn mainly we had to all help explain how you needed to hit the ball at different angles to get it to go where you wanted it to. I was the best at finding the angles for what needed to happen, but Kylie was the best at actually hitting the balls with power.

After zip lining we played put put. It was probably the best game I have ever played of put put, but we didn’t actually finish because it was getting late and we wanted to walk in the creek still. We didn’t have a score card, so we all had to keep adding up our scores in our head, but if the numbers were right, I came in 2nd with 34 after hole 15 or 16 (the holes weren’t really numbered well so I forget).

After creek stomping and looking at some frogs and fish, we went back to the cabin and ate. Then we played poker after playing with a fire some because we promised Cadyn. However, Cadyn and Kylie learned how to play poker as “Baseball Poker” while at Capon and it is the dumbest thing. We tried playing other ways first, but Cadyn was upset because he didn’t like it that way. (We think it was because it actually involved some logic and probability rather than a bunch of wilds and extra cards like they play.) Cadyn was kicking our butts when we changed to their way, but in the last round we were all joking and went all in (except for cadyn because he was creaming us by so much). We already knew Cadyn had 4 of a kind, so everyone expected him to win. But then, my proudest moment of the day, I finally got to use one of my favorite Parent Trap lines; “In your honor, a royal flush!” In that last round I beat him, and it was fantastic to wipe the grin off of his face!

To recap, while at a camp today I learned Ancient World History,  Physics, Biology, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, and now I am writing about it, so you can count English too. I did all of the core subjects at school plus a little more, by having experiences at camp. Why can’t all school be as much fun as learning at a day of camp?

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