Field trips provide a great escape from the routines of classroom learning. They also provide students with a unique opportunity to experience aspects of their studies first hand. Many students look forward to their upcoming field trip all year long. However, the 6th grade class at Gowana Middle School does things a bit differently. Rather than ending the year with a field trip, they offer their students a fun and educational school trip at the beginning of each year.
School Field Trip Creates Positive Team Building Experiences
Mr. Andersen, 6th grade science teacher at Gowana Middle School, has been taking around 130 kids on a school field trip to Ellms Family Farm every year since the farm began offering this service 12 years ago. The trip takes place at the beginning of the year and focuses on team building. Groups of students are challenged to work together in order to successfully navigate through the corn maze. The wide variety of group games available in the play area also help to foster positive relationships among the classmates.
“The staff has always been super hospitable. It is very easy for us to come in and do quick activities with our kids. It is always a very pleasant, very fun get-to-know-you time of year for us.” ~ Mr. Andersen
In addition to the team building exercises, students on the field trip learn about the importance of agricultural businesses in the area. For many kids, the school trip is their first farm experience. In addition to the corn maze, students enjoy a narrated trolley ride around the farm and fresh apple cider and cider donuts. They are also allowed to enjoy “free play” at any of the numerous activities the farm offers including pedal carts, jumping pillows, a sports center and more. During this time students begin to form friendships that last all year long.
Ideal Field Trip for Large Groups of Students
Anderson highly recommends Ellms Family Farm to teachers interested in taking their children on a unique, fun field trip. Each trip he has been a part of has been easy to arrange and well organized- which is no easy feat with the large number of kids the trip entails. According to Mr. Anderson, the farm staff is always friendly and inviting. Many of them are even retired school teachers so they understand the whole process (and challenges) of getting large groups of kids together. Their knowledge has helped to make each class trip very successful.