Academic Engagement – Fall History and Literature
A month into the year, and the Swift Squirrels are starting to gain some momentum in and out of the classroom. In the Snake River House, the middle school have started their year in history exploring early humans and questions pertaining to human nature and good and evil. Simultaneously, in language arts, all three grades have begun reading William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, an allegory for early society and humanity, that the students will be able to connect and intertwine with their learnings from history class. Throughout the year, students will engage with literature that was either written during the time period we are studying in history, or in the case of Lord of the Flies, is connected directly to what they will be learning in history. A week into the novel, and the students are discussing and contemplating big questions like, “Are humans inherently good or evil?” and “Is there a difference in human nature and human action?” Throughout the unit the students will observe how societies form, organize, function, and collapse.
Community Focus – Big Eddy Raft Race
On Monday afternoon this week, the middle school students piled into the buses and headed north to Big Eddy on the Teton River. Last spring the 7th and 8th graders spent their maker blocks drafting and crafting rafts out of recycled and found materials. Due to record snows and high spring waters, the testing of the raft was postponed until this fall. Unfortunately the graduating 8th graders could not participate, but the current 7th and 8th made them proud. All four of the rafts that were tested on Monday floated, some a few inches below the surface, but all floated. The Teton and the weather were in perfect conditions for a float. Each raft had two chances to race the course. The first attempt was a time trial where each raft was tested individually, and we concluded with a race involving all of the boats. The raft made out of a bathtub was a strong favorite before the race, but the playground slide raft, operated and maneuvered like a kayak and shredded the competition. Captained by Eli Stitt, the slide kayak pulled away from the bathtub and the pallet to gain the maker challenge victory. Congratulations to all of the teams, and thanks to the 6th graders for cheerleading enthusiastically throughout the event. Special thanks to Josh Adams for trailer and logistical support!
Student Corner – Moose Creek Backpacking Journey
This year I embarked on my third and final backpacking trip in middle school. I didn’t really know how it would go. We had a new 6th grade class along with the previous 8th graders moving on.
The first day went relatively smoothly. We arrived in the parking lot and waited for the other group to get ahead of us. After the 15 minute wait we started our hike. The hike only had a few notable things including seeing some moose, eating lunch at a bridge, looking at the creek below us and searching for fish along with filling up our water bottles. We got to camp and set our tents up after we had some hangout time and at burritos for dinner. We then prepared for bed and went to sleep. The next day we woke up and ate some oatmeal. Ater we got the bear hang and hiked over to the other group’s camp site. We went on a day hike up to the meadows and played a couple of games. We later explored the fossils and ant hills. After a small history lesson we hiked back and parted ways with the other group. We got back to camp and enjoyed some free time. For our last meal dinner of the trip we indulged in some mac and cheese. We then went to bed. The final morning we woke up and immediately packed up our backpacks and took down our tents. We ate some oatmeal and filled up water bottles and we were on our way. The hike down was faster then the one in but slower then previous years hiking out. A few notable moments were getting to the same bridge we ate at on the way in, only this team eating snacks instead of lunch. By the time we got to the wilderness sign we were ready to get back to the buses so we ran the last half mile. It felt great! Me and Emmett were the only ones to run the entirety of the section. Once everyone was to the buses we loaded up and started blasting some music. We also almost blew out the bus’s suspension but it was ok. We got to school and unpacked all our supplies and gear provided by school after we headed over to the emporium to meet with our families
On the trip I had a few challenges and successes. My challenges were the hike in because I was impatient and tired and my other challenge was not being able to read about sports (yes it’s very important.) My successes were completing the hike in and not having food in my tent for at least one night. While on the trip I learned how to play poker and cambio. I also learned the pioneers that fought the native americans in trail creek came through moose creek pass. Overall this year’s backpacking experience for me was much better than the previous. I enjoyed this year’s trip a lot more and that allowed me to learn more about where we were and help others who were having harder experiences than me. I’m super happy with my progression through all three years of the backpacking trip and wish I could go again next year.