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CPCS seventh graders participate in Project Adventure at Camp Overlook


COLTON - The Colton-Pierrepont Central School seventh graders spent a lot of time with their classmates, teachers and other staff last week during the school’s annual three-day Project Adventure field trip.

The program, which focuses on team-building, challenging activities and games, started over 15 years ago, according to Program Director Nate Campbell, a former CPCS student.

“The seventh grade Camp Overlook trip is called Project Adventure, where the students do team-building activities, skill and semi-competitive events on low rope elements as well as high rope elements,” Principal Jim Nee said.

“The program has continued on. We had a brief hiatus for about four years and when one of our alumni (Mr. Campbell) received the program director job, we reconnected with the 4-H camp. ... We had the opportunity, when Nate was in charge again, to go back last year, and we took him up on his request.”

The trip to the Mountain View camp began Wednesday morning with the loading and packing of school buses, filled with the entire class along with numerous teachers and chaperones.

Upon their 10 a.m. arrival, the CPCS crew moved into the bunk houses and immediately began activities. For the remainder of Wednesday and all of Thursday, the students took part in various games and activities. Friday morning culminated with zip lining before the buses headed back to school.

The zip line activities were a favorite for students like Brooke Wilson and Grace Rousell.

“We went through facing our fears like with going on the zip lines and high ropes. A lot of us overcame our fears of heights and it helped us build more confidence in ourselves and encourage each other more,” Ms. Wilson said.

“We did a lot of team building exercises, like we would lift people over things and become stronger as a team,” Ms. Rousell added.

Mr. Nee explained that there were a wide variety of activities the students participated in, each helping them grow as people in different ways.

“They have different type challenges, how the students should communicate with one another. It allows for students to be peer leaders. It allows for ideas to be shared. Some of it is trial and error, other parts are cooperation and team work in order to complete the elements,” Mr. Nee said. “So there’s a variety of tactics that are used to allow the students to come together, work together to accomplish various tasks.

“What we’ve seen from groups that go on and become eighth graders, ninth graders, all the way up through their senior year; they always refer back to the Project Adventure at Camp Overlook as a positive experience, where they were able to think outside the box, use each other as a resource to accomplish tasks,” he said.

“So the idea is to create that team bonding for the seventh grade class as they moved forward. What we see here at Colton is many of the teachers will refer back to that experience when the class is met with some sort of challenge or activity, which requires them to work together to accomplish a task,” he added.

Teachers who helped out on the trip also felt inspired and impressed with the students’ response. Seventh-grade social studies teacher Megan Leger was on the trip and said the students’ encouragement throughout the few days served as inspiration to her.

“It was pretty powerful as a teacher to watch the students embrace things and experiences that they wouldn’t necessarily be willing to participate in. These seventh graders really saw a number of their teachers do things that they weren’t comfortable with either. They were my support team; they were my inspiration to go off the zip line when I was petrified,” Ms. Leger said. “So not only were they their own inspirations in overcoming their own fears but they were also my inspiration which was pretty awesome.”

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