Teachers say students’ leadership skills blossom after day at camp

Published 5:09 am Monday, October 18, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Eastside Elementary School sixth graders got the chance to learn in a different type of classroom Thursday.
Sue Leslie and Connie Morrison's sixth-grade classes travelled to Five Pines Ministries in Berrien Center to take part in team building and leadership activities.
Forty-nine students, 16 parents, Leslie, Morrison and Special Education teacher Emily Iwaniuk spent the whole school day at the facility.
The students were divided into four randomly-chosen groups and took part in physical activities such as a rope course and a 28-foot climbing wall, in addition to team-building activities.
This year is the third Eastside sixth graders have travelled to Five Pines for these exercises.
While some students may not be up to the physical tasks, Leslie explained the kids won't be made to do anything they don't want to.
The ropes course, which consists of 10 different paths suspended 15 feet in the air, challenges the students to test themselves and their fears.
Chris White, 11, said the ropes course helped him with his fear of heights.
After completing five of the 10 paths of the rope course, the students get to zip down a 40 ft. zip-line to the end of the course.
Team-building activities included the students having to undo knots in a rope while keeping one hand on the rope at all times.
Another team-building activity Morrison explained was a circle where students had to exchange places with a partner, while not touch any of the other children in the circle, who were also attempting to exchange places.
The random assigning of the groups also gave the kids a chance to interact with students they normally might not talk to.