Letter: HMS expresses gratitude to AventThis past week the eighth graders from Hastings Middle School spent three days at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning near Lanesboro.
To the editor,
This past week the eighth graders from Hastings Middle School spent three days at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning near Lanesboro.
This is the 15th year that we have enjoyed the experience. Students learn hands-on about the environment, practice outdoor survival skills, participate in numerous team building exercises, challenge themselves on the “tree tops” high rope course, and live an afternoon in the in the moccasins of a Native American. They learn to conserve resources and reduce the amount of garbage that goes into a landfill. Kids meet new friends that they have sat next to in Math class, but never really got to know. There is a renewed sense of belonging, tolerance and empathy that carries over as we return back to school.
It requires more than 60 chaperones to supervise the trip each year. Many adults have done the trip several times. These teachers and parents have donated their time away from their families because they appreciate the value of the trip. In fact, some of this year’s adult chaperones participated in the trip when they were in eighth grade.
None of this would have been possible without generous support of Ms. Sharon Avent, CEO of Smead Manufacturing. The first group of students that participated in the adventure 15 years ago are now 28 years old. An entire generation has been educated in the importance of environmental stewardship, wilderness skills, and an appreciation for different cultures. There are 6,000 students that have attended the trip through Sharon’s generosity! Hastings Middle School eighth graders have a lot of to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Thank you Sharon!
Mark A. Zuzek
Hastings Middle School