My field trip with my 7th graders to a surfing camp was awesome. Exhausting, yes, but definitely, without a doubt, a great time. In fact, I wish I could go back and do it all over again.
We slept in cabins on the beach. We ate our meals outside with the waves crashing behind us. We bodysurfed, we swam, we surfed (okay – I actually missed out on the surfing, but they surfed and next time I will DEFINITELY not miss out).
We did team-building activities. We sang campfire songs. And the most important part of the trip, we learned search and rescue techniques – basic first aid. Students learned about treating soft tissue wounds, how to make splints, what to do when arriving on the scene of an accident, and also, how to save someone from drowning.
The culminating event was a staged “rescue.” Each of us teachers got to play a role – create a scenario in which we’d been injured.
My character was the ditzy Brandi Bouffet, who was the captain of the pep squad at her college. She wanted to be “Made” by MTV into a BMX biker.
During her audition tape, she tried to build a “sweet” jump and go off of it on her bike. It obviously didn’t go well as she ended up falling off, gauging her head on a rock, gauging a long cut in her leg, and twisting both her wrist and ankle. Yeah, she (I) was a mess! I was covered in make-up and doused with fake blood. It was awesome!
When the students found me (I mean, “Brandi”), they had to use all of the strategies they had learned to help me before paramedics got there. I tried to stay in character the entire time and for me, it was pretty funny.
Every time they mentioned blood, I reacted by freaking out and screaming, “Oh my god! I’m bleeding?!”
And they all lied to me. “No, no. You’re not bleeding.”
Then I asked, “Am I dirty? I totally hate being dirty.” And I started to cry.
“No, no. You’re not dirty,” they assured me – even though I was coated in sand. It was even in my mouth at that point (gross).
They asked me what I was allergic to and I told them, “Dirt.”
“Will I still get to be on TV?” I asked them. “I want to be famous.”
“Yes, yes. You’ll still be on TV.”
They were great. I was wrapped like a mummy, lifted onto one of those rescue boards (okay, I don’t remember the technical name), and carried to safety. My students saved the day. I’m very proud of them!
And somewhere out there, in the hands of one of my colleagues, is a very embarrassing video of the experience. Black mail. ;)
The trip allowed me to get to know my students better. It was wonderful to see their personalities outside of the academic setting. I have great kids. Experiential, or outdoor, education is incredibly effective. I wish that every school had an opportunity to do something like this.
On a side note
The Book Fair is happening at my school and teachers have the opportunity to create a “Wishlist” of books that we’d like. I, being the Word Nerd, gathered a good-sized stack, thinking that I’d go back next week and pay for them all, but after school yesterday, one of my students walked in with five of the books I’d chosen and handed them to me.
“I couldn’t get them all,” he apologized. I just wanted to cry.
Do you see how lucky I am?
Best students EVER!