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Fourth Grade Hiking Trip

Jennifer Gordon

After the success of last year’s first ever fourth grade hike, we were really looking forward to another great introductory trip for our youngest Adventure Club students….and then we saw the weather forecast : RAIN.  After securing rain gear and waterproof boots for everyone, we were so happy to see gorgeous blue skies and sunshine on the morning of our hike!

As everyone arrived, we got checked in and geared up…including getting fitted for hiking boots for the first time!  Once all groups were assembled, we took a moment to go over trail etiquette, maps, and the schedule for the day.  Then we were off!  The Pink Pro Hikers and the Purple Panthers took the lead with the Blue Jays and the Green Buddies following close behind. 

While hiking, we had several objectives : searching for trail numbers and blazes, keeping between our lead and sweep, attaching “ticks” to other hikers, and most importantly, having a fun time while encouraging our teammates!  The ups and downs we encountered on the Skyline Trail proved to be challenging, however our fourth graders impressed us with their great attitudes and skills.  During our packs-on water breaks, we performed “tick checks” to see if any of us had a clothespin attached to our packs.  If we found a blue clothespin, we would share our feelings about the hike and if we found a green clothespin, we would share something we noticed about nature while hiking. 

Our mid-hike goal was to arrive at Eliot Tower for lunch.  The first group to arrive was the Purple Panthers, who led the cheers for each subsequent team as everyone arrived.  We all enjoyed a lunch break before climbing up the tower to see the view of Boston, the Harbor, and nearby Ponkapoag Pond.  Then it was time for some games!  We started with a team-building game (known right now as “The Game With No Name”) where we worked together to beat our time while passing an object around our circle.  After much discussion and strategizing, we improved our time by over a minute and got down to under 10 seconds!  This game was followed by one of our all-time favorite Adventure Club games : Camouflage! 

As much fun as the games were, we were all ready to get back to hiking!  Groups started the trek down, encountering muddy trails, several water crossings, and steep declines.  The hike down was much faster and we felt more confident in our abilities.  It was a great time to work on encouraging our teammates and practice reading maps. 

Once we completed the Skyline Loop, we headed back to the Houghton’s Pond parking lot to de-issue gear and meet up with families.  We had a great time and can’t wait to bring these 4th graders on more Adventure Club trips next year

-Ms. Gordon & Ms. Robbie