Today’s blog post is authored by 8th grade teacher and geology camp leader William Barron
One of the great things about Cair Paravel Latin School is the almost obsessive desire to get students out of the four walls of the classroom so that they can enjoy what God created and the benefits of community in a setting other than at a desk and in a chair. Regardless of the grade level, our students participate in field trips throughout the year designed to pique their imagination, broaden their understanding of what they are learning in the classroom, and help them appreciate Creation. As they get older, we take them camping for days at a time so they are pushed out of their comfort zones and away from the distractions of this busy electronic world we live in. I think the capstone for these encounters with the outside happens when we close out the year by spreading out across the nation traveling to Missouri and the heartland, Texas, Colorado, California, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, and New York. A few weeks ago eleven students and two adults, while not leaving our great state of Kansas, extended the classroom experience past the traditional school year into summer for even more hands-on learning.
Geology Camp 2016 was a three day adventure in western Kansas filled with heat, hiking, and hunting for nature’s treasures. We visited places that simply cannot be enjoyed the same way by reading about them but instead must be encountered outdoors in God’s presence.
In our nearly 900 miles of travel we:
- Viewed and climbed on rocks shaped like mushrooms.
- Collected iron concretions that looked like explosions frozen in time.
- Made a triple bunk bed hammock system in the cottonwoods.
- Hunted for fossils as the sun set finding lots of petrified wood instead.
- Woke up early in the cool of the morning and found shark teeth and vertebrae of animals long since dead.
- Climbed all over one of the 8 wonders of Kansas.
- Played in the water at Scott Lake and nearly got sick on the merry-go-round!
- Brought back beautiful crystals of calcite and selenite.
- And did mention fun in the car rides?
Geology Camp may not be for every student but it is good. We prepared to go out where it is hot and play where there is no air conditioning. We went to bed sweating but feeling good about the day. We never went hungry except the hunger for what next adventure awaited us. Cair Paravel reminds me of this in many ways.
We have adventure every day in our school. We hunger to learn and put to practice what we do in the classroom. I am constantly reminded of this as parents approach me to tell me about their child who got excited on a trip because they knew what they were looking at in the rocks or argued with a television program’s bad logic. Geology camp may not be for every student but it is a great picture of what we do here at Cair Paravel, where every day we collect, climb, make, hunt, play and have fun in this process that is called becoming fully human. I love the fact that God has called us into an adventure.
I encourage you to take a tour of Cair Paravel, where the hunt is on every day to cultivate classically trained, lifelong learners, committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who will enrich their community and God’s kingdom!