At High Trails Outdoor Education Center, students experience the natural world through role play and hands-on activities. One of our students’ favorite activities comes during their first Discovery Group: Setting the Mood.
The Nature Scavenger Hunt is facilitated by the high school counselors, many of whom have attended our HTOEC Leadership Day. The goal is to help the students begin to see interrelationships in the natural world, as well as to help them slow down and help them truly “see” (and understand) the natural world all around them.
Here is what the students will be looking for:
HTOEC Nature Scavenger Hunt
Something red in nature
The oldest thing you can find
The youngest thing you can find
Something you can feel but cannot see
Something with a smooth texture
Something with a rough texture
A piece of litter
Evidence of an animal
Three different kinds of grass
Something that makes a noise
Something humans could not live without
Something natural that has no purpose
Once the group has found all the items, the high school counselors will facilitate a short wrap-up discussion to allow the students to share their discoveries. Some of the questions the counselors may ask are: What do all the objects have in common? How are they interrelated? Would a dog be able to find something red? Would a bat be able to hear the same things we found which made a noise? What else could a bat hear? What things would animals be able to find better than we can?
These questions help the student begin to recognize that our senses help us experience the natural world in rare and unique ways—and that our sixth sense, our sense of wonder, allows us to understand, appreciate and celebrate our connection to nature.
What do YOU look for when you are out in the natural world?