Nature’s Classroom – Eden

In 2016 I went to Becket, Massachusetts with my school for a program called Nature’s Classroom. It was quite a fun trip doing all the different activities and making memories we had made there. I had many favorite parts and some parts I wished I hadn’t experienced.. But for the most part is that it was  a lot of fun. On the day of our leave we had ended up having a snow day. So, we had a delay, we were originally supposed to leave at 8:30am but in the end ending up leaving at 1pm and arrived 4 hours later at 5pm due to snow conditions. After we got there we were greeted and were taken to our activities and the trip began.


One of the things we did was choose classes, I did one specific class called “Feed Your Face” that involved in putting different foods and other things on our face, lips and arms and seeing/learning about how it helped us. Our teacher Ana (Nicknamed Bloodhound) let us experiment and taught us about the different pores we were cleaning and relaxing our facial muscles. We also got to make and eat an edible lip balm with some cocoa powder in it. We tried to keep it on our lips as long as we could, but the temptation was too much for most of us. At the end before we left, out teacher let us have orange slices with some sugar on them, a nice winter treat!


Another class I took was called Squid Dissection, in this class we got to watch a squid being dissected. A group of kids including me sat around our teacher at a table and we watched him dissect a squid and we got to touch some of the parts like the heart, stomach, eye, and brain! As gross as it sounds, we had gloves and luckily, nothing sprayed out at us! We also got diagrams and got to see what parts the squid had and how it all worked together. Lastly but not least we got to pass around small pieces of the squid and see what all the functions did. By accident our teacher cut open the stomach and this weird liquid substance came out, but it was a cool color right?


So, we did do a lot more in Nature’s Classroom but I’m afraid that’s all I can write for now, but it was a great experience and I am excited for my return next year. I am excited to find out what new adventures will overcome me next year and have the memory of 2016 snowy Nature Classroom in my heart forever. See you guys next year!




Trail Cam

Creative Commons License Lisa Zins via Compfight

Nature’s Classroom – Neha

A couple weeks ago the 6th and 7th grade went to Nature’s Classroom. Nature’s Classroom is a place in Becket, Massachusetts. There are teachers there who have different and funny nicknames like Bloodhound or Sassafrass. There was a lunch room and a manor where all the kids stayed. The boys were on the top floor, and the girls were on the bottom floor. At Nature’s Classroom we did different and fun activities and learned about nature (hence the name). Nature’s Classroom is a school trip so some of the teachers at our school went  with us.


The 6th and 7th graders went to Nature’s Classroom for 4 days. We went Monday and came back Thursday. I got homesick, so I came back early (Tuesday night). Anyway, on Monday we were supposed to leave at 8 am but because of the snow it got delayed to around 1pm. I think we left on the coach bus around 1:30. We got to Nature’s Classroom around 3:00 or 4:00 because it was a three hour drive. We did one activity and then we went to our bunks and got settled in. Then I think we went to the art room, which is a room where we do activities in. Later, we had dinner at 5:00. The food in Nature’s Classroom is pretty good. After we ate we went back to the bunks and had some free time. After that, we went to back to the art room and did some activities. At night we had a sing along, which was kind of fun. So, that was our first day at Nature’s Classroom.
My favorite thing we did in Nature’s Classroom was an activity called Feed your Face. This class was with Anna, or Blood Hound (her nickname). In this class we learned how to use natural things to cleanse our faces. For example, we made a face scrub using oats and honey. It felt really good on my skin. We put vanilla yogurt on our faces to open our pores and then we used steam and lavender essential oil to close our pores (we put hot water water and a drop of the oil and put the cups close to our faces). This  was my favorite activity I did there because it was really relaxing and we got to learn that most of these creams, lotions, or face cleansers are mostly chemicals, and not natural for our skin. So if we use natural things, we’ll know exactly what it is and it’ll help make our skin smoother. So that’s what my favorite thing at Nature’s Classroom was and what Nature’s Classroom is.






Nature’s Classroom – Caidan

It was a cold winter day and we had a five hour delay. Now usually I would be excited about this but today it was just stressful. It was stressful because we were supposed to be going to Nature’s Classroom that day. So instead of leaving at 8:00 we left at 1:00 and got there at 4:00. So that meant I had 5 hours to worry instead of just 1 hour. When I got to school I was very excited. After a while of waiting we all put our bags on the bus and it was time to go.


When I was on the bus I was sitting with Bode and we talked the whole time. As we got closer to Nature’s Classroom me and Bode started to look out the window I thought it was really cool to see the change in weather. There were a lot of times where I would see a place and think that it was Nature’s Classroom and I would think “oh um is that it?”. But it wasn’t, so when we actually got there and I saw what it looked like, I was very relieved that it wasn’t some shack in the middle of the woods. Once we got there we unloaded the bus, played a game, then we  went inside and got our bunk mates  and which numbers they would be. After that we did our first field group, ate, did another field group, ate again, had our sing along, and went to bed.


The next few days were filled, and when I say filled, I mean filled with things to do. We got our first classes, ate food, had field groups, talked, and had some simulations like the Oregon trail and Predator vs Prey. I was really having fun and forgot about the rest of the world like school and other things. But then I remembered something that hit me like a rock to the gut I had to leave. To be honest I really enjoyed this and seemed sad to be leaving but I was glad to be going back to my house and seeing my family. My bunk mates and I, Sam, Michael, and Memphis (Bode was there too but had to leave two days ago because of skiing) talked, played some games like never have I ever then went to bed. When we woke up in the morning we had to pack up and leave. It was a big commotion while packing up but once we got on the bus I was sad and happy. I was sitting with Isaac. Once I got off the bus my mom was there and I went home.

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Picture by PDS

Nature is The New Classroom (Natures classroom refection) by Ryanne

I started packing Thursday night, and was awestruck with this adventure. After packing, I got in my PJs and went to my last sleep at home for four days. In the morning, school was canceled because there was a lot of snow. I thought we would not go to the trip. Just then my mom said that we had to be at school at 12:15 to be on the bus. I was so excited! Mostly because we were going on the trip, but also it would be funny to be the only ones at school till’ we leave. Before my mom dropped me off I had lunch with my friend Yasmeen. We decided that we would sit together on the bus ride there.  
day304Philip Ray via Compfight

After lunch my mom dropped me off at school and I saw a huge pile of suitcases, duffle bags, and backpacks. I came in and put my stuff in the pile of bags and said goodbye to my mom before she left. After we loaded the bus with bags, we set off for Nature’s Classroom. It was a three hour drive because the roads were covered in snow. Yasmeen and I both took a nap on the bus. When we got there it was so cold. We played a quick game and we put our stuff in our bunks. I was in a room with Milaura, Cedar, Violet, Bella, Zoё, Zsofi, and Yasmeen. I was happy with everyone in my room because we were all friends. After we got set up in our room we set off for our first activity.

When we got there, we went through all the counselors and they each did a different activity, all involving team work. Then we ended the day with a sing along. We sang a bunch of different songs.  After that we headed back to our bunks to sleep.

The next day we woke up and ate breakfast. After breakfast we went to our field group. This is when we would go hiking, play camouflage, and learn about nature, (as said in the name “Nature’s” Classroom) in smaller groups. You don’t get to decide who is in your field group, so you are assigned with people. My field group was fun so it all worked out. After we would pick classes that the counselors lead.  All the classes I got were really fun. Every night we would end with a sing along as we did the first night. Then we would go back to bed and have breakfast in the morning.

One activity we did was called the Oregon trail. Each group had a certain job and they each had a different amount of money depending on your job. You could buy clothes, oxen, wagons, parts for the wagon, food (rations), etc. During the trail we had to act like it was the real Oregon trail. There would be situations saying you lost food, an ox died, your wagon broke, you earned food, you get money or lose money, etc. It was REALLY fun.  

We also played a game called predator vs prey. There were five groups and each group was either an insect, frog, or snake. Two groups were insects and I was in the centipede group. Everyone was trying to tag us because we were the prey and we could never be the predator. Two groups were frogs and they could tag bugs but they could be tagged by the one snake group. It was fun till’ I got tagged to the snake team. It was fun chasing everyone but it was more fun running away from everyone.

Then it came the time we had to leave. I got everything packed and we loaded the bus.  I sat next to Cedar and off we went. The counselors were waving until they could not see the bus anymore. I was sad to be going home because I had a lot of fun, but I also was happy to be in my own bed.        

Natures Classroom by Tess

Nature’s Classroom is located in Becket Massachusetts. I would describe it as a sleep away camp, but it’s a little different. At Nature’s Classroom, you get to do all sorts of things like hiking, different fun activities and just hanging out with your friends. To get there, my class left at 1:00pm from school. We all fit on a giant bus with many different seats and even a bathroom. We arrived at 5:30pm, everyone was exhausted from the long 4-hour drive! We were all assigned bunks, and later on, we got to set our stuff down. This was pretty much our first day, there was not a lot going on because there wasn’t a lot to do considering it was so dark.


Photo by Tess

Every day we would wake up at 7:00am. Everyone would get dressed, then go out for breakfast. Some people who needed to take meds or people who were Waitrons would leave a little early. After breakfast, we would have a break time to get ready for field groups. Most of the time my field group was out hiking, so we would be walking in ankle deep snow. Every day I would wear 3 pairs of socks, two pairs of pants and two shirts. It was that cold! We also played a game in field groups called camouflage. The leader of my group (Kelly) would scream Camouflage and she would count down from 10. Everyone had to hide and over time, she would find people.

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Picture by PDS

I think my favorite moment at nature’s classroom was a class I took called Hucking stuff. I arrived in the class thinking we would just be throwing things, but once we got there, it was so much more. It was a meditation class. I felt my body melt away into nothingness as my counsellor Kelly told us a story that made me go the deepest into my mind I’ve ever been. The story went a bit like this…


You walk into the dark forest. Everything is silent, the only sounds you can hear are the crunching of snow beneath your feet. You walk passed the water, and the trees. You soon come into an open field. You feel an emptiness inside you eating away at your courage. In the middle of the field, you see a black stone. It’s the heaviest thing ever and no one could ever lift it. You walk over to the stone and you lift it with no problem at all. Your feet carry you back to the river and you stand looking off into the distance. You throw the stone into the water. It shatters into a million pieces. You start to walk out of the forest, that spot in your stomach fades away.


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Picture by PDS


After doing the meditation we went outside into the dark cold woods and took an object we found. That object represented something bothering us in our lives. After finding the object we went to a high up deck and threw the object off. This was representing throwing away our fears, insecurities etc. A friend in my group’s item was a rock. He said something that will change my life. He told us about how his object was a rock and how it would never break, but somehow he could try. I don’t exactly remember what he said, but I know it really made me think. I hope you visit Nature’s Classroom sometime because it’s so much fun and I know you’ll like it!

Zsofi’s Natures Classroom

I loved Nature’s Classroom! It was so much fun, but my favorite part was at the end of the day when we all did a sing-along in the amphitheater (my favorite song was the one about the worm). The food we got was great; it had amazing gluten-free options (I’m  gluten free), and really good tasting gluten-free bread. I really liked my counselor Sassafras (all the counselors had nicknames, I still do not know my counselor’s actual name). The only problem was that whenever I came back to my bunk, I would find weird grains of sand in it that I had to sweep off my bed. Also, I think it would have been a lot easier to get to the top bunk with a ladder and not by climbing on the bed frame.

I really enjoyed the simulations we did there, and my favorite was the Oregon Trail one. In the Oregon Trail, my group were farmers and we had the least amount of money, but for some reason the person who was in charge of buying the wagon we would be using decided to buy the Mercedes of wagons (it was a lot of money). In a nutshell we all froze to death in the end in the simulation. Nevertheless I had an amazing time at Nature’s Classroom.   

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Picture by PDS.



Annie’s Nature’s Classroom post

April of 2016 we went to Nature’s Classroom for 4 days. Nature’s Classroom is a place where kids come to play outdoors and have fun! It was so much fun! I had a hilarious group of girls in my bunk! In my buck there was Joanie, Olivia, Olive, Eden, Maya, Neha, Elizabeth and me. It was great to have all my really good friends in one bunk.

We were all feeling pretty homesick, but we cheered each other up by telling jokes and putting on little skits. I warmed up to the fact that I was in another state than my parents pretty quickly. If you were to ever go there you have to eat at least one meal there. I loved their food! Nature’s Classroom’s food is way better than ours at PDS  and it was a nice change.

Everyday we would go on a hike with our field group leader. My leader was Kelly. She was so nice. She taught us how to play a game called Camouflage. How the game works is when you least expect it someone would say, “CAMOUFLAGE!” and you would have 10 seconds to find a hiding spot anywhere in the woods. I love Camouflage, and one of the reasons is because I’m undefeated! Kelly also taught us how to make paint out of charcoal, and we got to put it all over our faces!

The best thing I learned there was probably how to make a fire, or how to clean my face with food lying around the house, or how to build and awesome dome! I don’t know what the best part was, but I do know that I learned and ton. You should visit it’s amazing!

Nature’s Classroom – By Bode

Nature’s classroom was AWESOME. At the start of Nature’s Classroom we had to take the long bus ride. It was 4 hours. We got to watch a movie called The Navigator. I was sitting next to my friend, Caidin. We talked for the bus ride mostly. Then we finally got there. I was excited to start.


We got out of the bus and put all our bags in a big line. Then we all circled up with the counselors. They all introduced themselves and I noticed something. They had some weird names! Like one of their names was Bloodhound. Then I realized they were fake names. We got into our bunks and then learned about what we were going to be doing and the schedule. We had breakfast lunch and dinner every day. The food was good, and we were having a great time.
Each day we chose some classes to do. My favorite one was when we went hiking with my counselor Nicky D. We had these things called Field Groups. We went and did activities with them every day too. We had this thing called Wednesday Night Live which was we had to make a skit and perform it. I wasn’t there unfortunately because I had ski nationals and had to leave early. Overall I had a great time and learned a lot of things. I can’t wait till next year!!

Nature’s Classroom – By Isaac

Over the first week of April, my classmates and I went on an adventure to the far off lands of Becket, Massachusetts. We all had different visions of how everything would play out, and I personally thought that NC (an abbreviation for Nature’s Classroom) would be more outdoorsy than it was. I thought that we would be spending pretty much the whole time outside, but we had ½ hour to 1 hour breaks between our classes, and our classes were mostly inside. The journey there was one of the best, and we got to watch movies on the big coach bus and talk with friends. The 7th graders who had already done it last year told us rumors like ghosts that people believed, and that freaked some people out but excited others, like me.


After the long journey, we had to stand out in the cold for a long time and play a game in the snow (great time to wear my sneakers, eh?) and we were assigned bunk rooms after that in our grand cabin. Shortly after that, we had our first mealtime where a lot of things were introduced to us, including how our classes and field groups would be working out. It didn’t make so much sense to me. We were introduced to waitronning. Then we did a team building activity after dinner, a “quest”. That night, someone was shining their flashlight a lot and kept everybody up until like 11:00. The next morning was my one and only waitron* shift. That day we were supposed to do an Oregon Trail simulation in real life, where we pretended we were a wagon of people and we were going to Oregon, facing obstacles along our way**. I wasn’t really listening, and I regretted that later because I didn’t know what we were doing for a bit. Sadly, that happened the next day. We had 3 classes where we learned about meditating, rockets, and forest fires in hands-on ways. That night we got to sleep well after our quiet sing along session where we sang some of my favorite songs, such as Riptide and Woody.


The morning after that, we woke up and had a field group*** outing, and rehearsed a play for Wednesday Night Live****. Then we had lunch, and right after we started away on the trail to Oregon City. We portrayed the farmers, the poorest of the groups, and we ended up all freezing to death the stop before Oregon City. We were very mad, but we had fun so we got over it. Later, we had one more class. It was how to eat healthy and live forever by not eating preservatives. We made mini treats for that, and they were fun and yummy. Soon after dinner came Wednesday Night Live, a series of mini plays where each field group performs a skit and that’s what we were planning out before. I ended up getting my shoe thrown across the room by a staff member, but that was fine. Our play was about making a commercial and all the attempts. At the very end when we got it perfect, the cameraman said he wasn’t filming. That was the punchline. We went to sleep for our last night before the day we headed home


In the morning, we had a last field group meeting where we recieved beads of kindness (called IALAC beads*****) We then played a game called Predators vs Prey. I started out as a centipede, the lowest in the food chain, but as I was eaten I ended up becoming a snake, or whatever ate me. That game wasn’t super fun, but it was semi-enjoyable. Then we had to pack up and go home.


*Just so you know, a waitron is like a waiter who helps clear the tables and set them and stuff

**More information coming

***Field group is sort of our group for hikes and stuff

****Which will be explained later

*****Stands for: I am loving and caring, Individuals all learning as [a] community, and other things

Nature’s Classroom Blog By:Zach


Dragon Tree trevorklatko via Compfight

At the start of Nature’s Classroom,  I really didn’t want to go. I said goodbye to my mom and boarded the bus, thinking that this trip would last forever. It was a long trip because we left late due to the snow. We also got stuck behind a plow for one hour, but that is beside the point. When we finally arrived (around 4:30 p.m.),  we unpacked and began to eat dinner. And that is where the adventure of Nature’s Classroom started.


I remember, to my surprise, that I had a lot of fun that first night. We did a station rotation in groups. My favorite station was getting a marble in a bucket using pipes. All was going well at Nature’s Classroom, until it was time to fall asleep. After a long day, I was tired and got into bed early. We were allowed to stay up until 10 p.m., but all of the people were talking. Normally this would not be a problem, but there was no sound proofing in the building and there were 25 kids talking. Eventually, I fell asleep.


Day two started with breakfast. Since I am a vegetarian, I was concerned that there wouldn’t be good food options for my diet. But to my surprise, there were many options for vegetarians and for people who are gluten-free. I did the field group, which is like a small group hike. In the afternoon, I did “Oil Wars.” In this exercise, we used oil, water and money. Since oil isn’t renewable, it was the most valuable resource. Once it is gone, it is gone. I liked this exercise because it made me think about how these resources impact people’s lives and the decisions that governments make. I also took a class where a small group had to build a geodome. It required us to use geometry and made us think about the structural integrity of our build.


On day three, we had breakfast and we did my favorite activity. We went on a simulation of the Oregon Trail. In the simulation, we learned about buying a wagon, managing our resources and money and working as a group. The camp counselors played the role of people on the trail, including robbers. I really enjoyed the simulation and  thought that it was very educational. I learned that one out of 10 people died that went on the trail. My team did very well on this exercise. In the evening, I took a class called, “Back to Basics.” In this class, we learned how to start a fire using a bow drill and using flint and steel.  Both methods are harder than they look on TV.  We finished the day with “Wednesday Night Live.” Each field group did their own skit and the teachers also did a skit. The teachers did a great job.


On our last day there, we played a game called predator versus prey. There were several animals and they had to eat each other. I was a frog, but I was eaten by an animal that was higher up on the food chain. The bus ride home seemed to take forever, even though it was shorter than the trip there. It was great to see my parents and I was glad that I got to sleep in my own bed that night.
Overall, I really enjoyed the classes that were part of Nature’s Classroom. I think all the teachers were very nice. I am glad that Shirley, Emma, Jake and Malorie joined us. I like that PDS allows us to do unique experiences like Nature’s Classroom.