Stroking Together Seventh-Graders Learn Cooperation, Communication during Field Trip

By Kmitch, Justin | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 19, 2003 | Go to article overview

Stroking Together Seventh-Graders Learn Cooperation, Communication during Field Trip


Kmitch, Justin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Justin Kmitch Daily Herald Staff Writer

They weren't sitting in a classroom. But 240 seventh-graders from Westfield Middle School in Bloomingdale still learned plenty about participation, teamwork and respect.

The students, divided into four teams of 60, took part in four daylong, team-building field trips to Wheaton Park District's Northside Park and Lincoln Marsh this month as part of District 13's Character Counts program.

On each of four days, the youths were placed into four teams of 15 to learn firsthand how important it is to build and nurture trustworthiness, fairness, caring and good citizenship.

The three-part event featured the Cooperative Games at Northside Park, a more physically challenging course at the Lincoln Marsh ropes team course and a 20-minute canoe ride.

"Today was a busy day all day," said student Manny Soberon. "I've probably worked just as hard today as I would have in school, but this is fun and I get to work with my friends."

Of all the events and games, many students said the 20-minute canoe ride in Northside Park Lake taught them the most about cooperation.

"The canoe ride was harder than I thought until we figured out how to row without moving so much" said 12-year-old Rob Nuzzo of Bloomingdale.

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