The entire Middle School took a break from their academic work and spent Wednesday, September 18th as a community on the annual Middle School Outing.
Shortly after our morning meetings, we loaded the school buses for the drive to Dufresne Park in Granby. Upon arrival each student was whispered the name of an animal, and as Greg Vennell led us to the open field for our first activity, they soon understood the meaning of the animals. The students were instructed to close their eyes and by reproducing the sound of the animal they were given, form into 6 different groups. For those of us not participating in this activity, it was a huge source of entertainment as the kids gathered blindly in the open field moo-ing and neigh-ing to each other!
Mr. Vennell led the students in a few other activities, including the infamous “lap sit”, and then the students were divided by grade for activity three stations:
CIRCLE writing exercise: Each grade was assigned two words of the MacDuffie Circle – Community, Integrity, Respect, Creativity, Leadership, and Excellence. The discussion and brainstorming focused on what does “community” sound like, feel like, look like, etc. The results of these sessions are hanging on large pieces of paper in the Middle School locker area for all to read.
GAMES: Relay races and other games, encouraging a competitive spirit within the grade levels.
T-SHIRT PERSONALIZATION: Each student was gifted a special Middle School Outing t-shirt, which many student opted to decorate with drawings or signatures.
The stations were followed by the design and assembly of the Middle School Puzzle, led by Ms. Hasting. Every sixth, seventh, and eighth grader at MacDuffie brings something special to the middle school. Each one is an individual but learns to work together to become part of the community. During the Middle School Outing, each student receiveed a puzzle piece. They decorated their piece with artwork that is important to them. When finished, without talking, puzzle piece in hand, they built the puzzle. Each began by finding just one person whose puzzle piece connected to their piece, they then located another middle schooler’s puzzle piece until the entire puzzle was built.
Everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun. The day ended with plenty of free time to explore the park, play a pick-up football game, participate in parachute games, or just talk with friends. Over 20 teachers dedicated at least part of their day to participate in the Outing – overall it was a huge success!