Yesterday I joined Kayla’s 6th grade classmates on a field trip to Islandwood. This is a unique environmental learning center on Bainbridge Island, a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle.
The purpose of the place appears to be to inspire people to appreciate the world around us, enough to preserve it for future generations. We heard about the relationship of the environment and native cultures in the area too. There was a nice talk about native baskets as a means of storytelling, and of preserving language and culture.
For me, the highlight was the "each two, teach two" nature walk. The kids got into teams of two with each team teaching other hikers about something along the trail- fungi, moss, trees or plants. It was a kind of educational bucket brigade. It was also fun to see the kids own their part of the experience – lots more than having to sit and listen to someone lecture at them for a couple of hours.
The be fair, the ‘lecture’ parts of the day were plenty interesting. The talks out on the trail seemed to include lots of stuff about slugs and poop – topics that might ‘stick’ more.
The other parts of the day that were fun included spending time with my 11 year old’s crowd. The trip over was pretty raucous, and I learned some new jokes on the way back. But what a great opportunity to learn about our world, both the natural and people parts of it.