Last week, our hike with the East Somerville Community School had some surprising encounters! The Middlesex Fells was teaming with the sounds, smells, and sights of spring and this young group from Somerville Public Schools took full advantage. In our opening circle at the trailhead, we challenged the group to be observant and no sooner had we started following the trail – we saw a snake! We all gathered around and watched it slither around the tree, rocks, and roots. (Almost) everyone was excited by it and could not wait to see and hear more.
All morning long, the bird songs were loud and near. We even paused to listen to how many different birds we might hear around us. One student counted 6 while another counted 7 different bird sounds or tunes. After lunch and a great soccer break at Wrights Tower, we had another chance to find animals. We found a few turtles sunning themselves on the log at Bellevue Pond.
From the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, unfortunately “today’s children may be the first generation at risk of having shorter lifespans than their parents. Evidence suggests that modern sedentary indoor lifestyles and use of electronic devices have contributed to increased health problems in childhood.” – Children, Nature, and the Importance of Getting Outside podcast. Let’s reverse this by hiking and giving opportunities for everyone to experience adventure learning! Check out pictures of these students taking in the world around them.