Each year, the individual Middle School classes and their chaperones and teachers enjoy several days away from campus in what we call the Outdoor Classrooms. In this stage between childhood and adolescence, Westminster teachers take time away from campus for an educational experience melded with class-bonding time.
Sixth-Grade Outdoor Classroom
The sixth-grade students travel to coastal South Carolina for an educational experience on Johns Island at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center. St. Christopher is located on over 314 acres of beach, maritime forest and undisturbed salt marsh on Seabrook Island, South Carolina which is about an hour south of Charleston.
Students, teachers and chaperones stay in cabins. Small groups of students and chaperones are taught by professional staff in hands-on classes. Classes cover such things as island ecology, herpetology, ornithology and coastal ecosystems. Students get to touch, taste and experience the science and history they are learning.
Seventh-Grade Outdoor Classroom
The seventh-grade students visit Blue Ridge Outdoor Education Center as a part of their school year curriculum. The center is a program of Camp Mikell and Conference Center, which is nestled in the hills of the southern edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest, just east of Toccoa, Georgia.
The highlights of the trip include a day of white water rafting (water-level permitting), team-building exercises, navigating ropes courses through the trees, exercises in ecology and an Underground Railroad history simulation.
A trip such as this enables our students to experience learning in a way that is difficult or impossible to achieve in the classroom.
Eighth-Grade Outdoor Classroom
Eighth-grade students and their chaperones travel to Washington, D.C. for a non-stop educational adventure in our nation’s capitol. Mount Vernon is the first stop where students visit the museum and tour the house and grounds of George Washington.
During the week away, students tour Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian Museum, Embassy Row, Washington National Cathedral, the National Archives, the International Spy Museum, the National Museum for Crime and Punishment and all of America’s famous memorials (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, MLK, WWII, Vietnam war and Korean war).
Students also take a self-guided tour of the Holocaust Museum and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. At the end of the week, they are treated to an evening dinner cruise down the Potomac to see the famous memorials at night.