A school with its own organic farm…how great is that?! (part 3)

Another gem from 2008!  Read Sarah Judges (current Grade Four Class Teacher) reflections on the Sunnivue experience when her Grade Three class went last year.  From the November 2008 edition of The Lunchbag News...

Michaelmas and Sunnivue Farm

I could not think of a better way for the Grade Three class to begin the Michaelmas season, a time of daring, bravery and inner strength, than to pack up our things and head out to Sunnivue Farm.

Our three-day, two night trip was full of physical, mental and emotional challenges. Many of the children in Grade Three had never been away from home for more than one night and had to call on their inner bravery and self reliance to get them through. The first night was a bit of a challenge, but by mid afternoon the next day it was suggested by the children that we stay for a week!

There were many thought- provoking conversations on how to most efficiently wash, dry and put away the dishes.  Strategizing about which meal to volunteer for was based on discerning which meal would use the least amount of dishes.

It was thought that it would take a day and a half to pick all of the many pumpkins in the field. But we had the pumpkin patch picked clean before lunch!

This trip would have been impossible without the support of the parents of the Grade Three class. First and foremost they had to be willing to be separated from their children for three days! They had to trust that they would be well cared for and well fed. Thank you Grade Three parents for all of your trust and support. This trip also would have been impossible if Sarah, Janine, and Marc had not bravely volunteered to join the Grade Three adventure.

One of our greatest accomplishments took place when, after a short break, it was decided that it would work better if the pumpkin laden wagon was moved down the field about fifty meters. Now you have to imagine that this is a wagon that normally can only be moved around by a tractor! It took us three tries, all of our might and a lot of teamwork, but we were able to move the wagon. What a real triumph that was.

All nineteen of us slept snug as bugs above the farm store.  It was quite a sight to see all of those little faces tucked away into their sleeping bags by the light of a glow stick.  On the second morning we woke up early enough that it was still dark and cold outside and the night sky was full of bright stars. Everyone, to my surprise, got up easily and bundled up in order to go to the barn and see the cows being milked.  We then broke up into groups. Some of us stayed to muck out a stall, some of us went to help prepare breakfast, and some of us went back to bed!  Mucking stalls was hard and stinky work. It was worth it  in the end, though, knowing that the animals would have a fresh bed for when the veterinarian arrived. The class  was divided into four groups, and one group at a time  would work on a single stall. It took from seven thirty in the morning until two in the afternoon to muck four stalls.  At some point every one of the children wanted to give up and go play. They were physically tired and unaccustomed to the smell. This was real work– hardwork.  With only a little encouragement, every child  decided to see the stall through until the end and finish the task they had started. In fact when it was finished, many asked if they could have a second turn!

When we were not working, we were collecting fire wood or playing with caterpillars and tadpoles from the pond.  Every night before bed we had a fire and a snack. I must admit that I was worried about getting fourteen children to bed, but after all of their hard work, they were asking for permission to go! We learned to brush our teeth ‘camping style’ and how to cook potatoes while we were sleeping.

This trip was full of adventure, quiet moments and what, in my humble opinion, would qualify as true learning.

–Sarah Judges, Class Teacher (current Grade Four Teacher)
From The Lunchbag News, November 2008 edition

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