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Sixth Graders Travel to Mt. Evans For Class

Logan Butler

   Outdoor Education Laboratory Schools [OELS] is a place where students learn about the ecosystems and wildlife in a natural setting outside of school. For five days, sixth graders in Jeffco get to experience what it’s like at Mt. Evans Outdoor Lab. Over the five days they have the opportunity to learn about the geosphere, archery, and many other outdoor pursuits.
   Each morning when they wake up at the bunkhouse, they hike up a trail to the flag ceremony overlooking a valley. Then the sixth graders eat breakfast at the dining hall. There are three meals a day and there are choices such as deli sandwiches, beef stew, and even sausage and eggs. Not to mention a desert of a cookie of rainbow sherbet at lunch and dinner!
   After breakfast sixth graders hike to a meeting place, and then set off to learn about Navigational Field Study, Biosphere, and the Initiatives Course, just to name a few. After a day of learning, they set out to do night programs. In a building overlooking the meadow they learn about astronomy. Sometimes on a lucky day they can even see Saturn’s rings from a giant telescope nicknamed “Big Blue”. On the last night “The Music Man” comes in. He doesn’t have that name for nothing. Jamming along to some music on his iPod he plays complicated songs on his electric guitar like Thunderstruck by AC/DC and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.
   Hiking along sixth graders see amazing wildlife that they would never see in the suburbs. Deer walk around like squirrels in your yard and occasionally they might see a weasel. Who ever thought a weasel would live up in the high altitude of the mountains?
   Starting in 1957 Outdoor Lab has been a classroom for multiple generations.  It’s located in the Rocky Mountains, west of Denver.
   Outdoor lab is a place where students can learn in an outdoor environment without the distractions of school. This is a once in a lifetime experience that all sixth graders will never forget.