By Zoey Angelucci and Ian Richard
Seventh grade students wore their tennis shoes and brought their pencils to embark on their journey into the wilderness of Moraine State Park on the annual field trip that works to bring the class of 2024 together.
Seventh grade teachers, with the help of guidance counselor, Mrs. Othites, came together to make the annual trip a success. Mrs. Othites shared, “In the springtime, I set up with the Moraine people for a day. Our seventh grade faculty gets together and talks about the activities that they are going to do. It’s just a matter of getting all the supplies you need.”
This trip has become a successful part of Shenango’s annual curriculum. “It started many years ago prior to me being here,” Mrs. Othites noted. “The previous counselor thought it was a way for the students to expand their horizons. Some of them have never been to Moraine, which is about ten minutes away from us. So each teacher developed a classroom lesson that they could do outdoors. That’s how the tradition started.”
Like Mrs. O said, each 7th grade teacher created a lesson that could be taught outside of the classroom. Each teacher got a letter from the word WILDCAT on which to base their lesson.
For example, Mr. Mayo had the letter L. He used this as a means to focus on the life skill of listening. “I did a listening activity. Basically, they partnered up with a different person every two minutes, and they talked about a certain topic. I think it is important because I think listening is the most underrated skill,” he stressed.
Students partook in different activities such as career planning, attitude-based handball games, integrity talks, listening activities, and archery.
The 7th graders were pleased with the field trip. Most enjoyed being able to get out of the classroom and learn in a new environment. The fan-favorite activity was archery with Mr. Merlino. However, Nikolai Mihaly and Maria Bryant agreed, “playing handball with Mr. Cooper” was their favorite part. Each student enjoyed the outing and learned something valuable.
Social studies teacher Mr. Cooper explained, “I think it is one of the best things we do here at Shenango. So many times we just worry about the history, the English and everything else, but a lot of times we can be more successful inside the classroom by building on those character traits,” he said. “I think it’s a good step back to be able to do that and help the kids in all phases of their lives, not just in the classroom.”