For four decades, Johnson State College students have provided an annual, weeklong outdoor-education experience for Grand Isle County sixth-graders at Camp Abnaki in North Hero.
On May 16, 2012, a special celebration marked the 40th anniversary of this unique program — a collaboration among Johnson State, the Grand Isle Supervisory Union and the Burlington YMCA/Camp Abnaki.
Commemorative activities included brief remarks by representatives of Johnson State, Grand Isle Schools, YMCA Camp Abnaki, and former and current students; a display of photographs and other program mementos; a ceremonial tree planting; and a group photo.
Every spring, JSC students work on the Camp Abnaki project as part of a semesterlong class called Learning in the Outdoors. Using the outdoors as a classroom, the students extend the grade school curriculum and design learning opportunities that contribute to meeting Vermont’s learning standards for sixth graders.
At Camp Abnaki each May, the JSC students teach the sixth graders a variety of activities that may include canoeing, camping and outdoor survival skills, environmental and nature studies, team building and ropes course challenges, nature arts and crafts, music and rhythms, and Native American studies.
In this outdoor classroom, the sixth graders gain practical knowledge in natural resources and build their skills in self-expression, cooperation and leadership.
The college students, meanwhile, get the chance to put their theoretical knowledge to the test in a hands-on classroom experience.
The Camp Abnaki facility, with its Lake Champlain waterfront, is a beautiful and historic site that makes the experience enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved.
Did You Know
Where service matters
Nearly 3,000 JSC students have contributed 100,000+ hours of volunteer service since 1987.