Exploring new heights

Students in Adventure Ed, a new class at MCHS, take on extraordinary new challenges and discover new passions

Students climb and repel down the climbing wall during their Adventure Ed class in Buckner Gym on Jan. 17 at the Upper Campus.

Lydia Lawrence, Staff Writer

Students eye the rock climbing wall, checking their equipment to make sure it’s secure before trekking up. Nervousness fills the room as students begin to climb, slowly grabbing the small steps above their head to pull themselves up. Although it may look intimidating, laughing and talking rings out as kids take part in the climbing activity.

Adventure Ed, a new class this year at MCHS, contains engaging activities like repelling, kayaking, and archery. Students get to learn in new environments and gain the ability to experience exciting things with the help of the school.

Many students have never tried these activities before.  “I liked rock climbing the most because it gave me a new experience for an activity that I’ve never done,” says junior Caeleb Stecks.

Others, like junior Zachari Gablin, have tried some of these activities before. He says,  “I liked archery because it’s the reason I picked the class.” 

Even the teacher believes that students are enjoying the new activities that are being offered this year. Jacob Guardalabene, the teacher for Adventure Ed explains, “It certainly seems like the students are enjoying the different activities. For a lot of them, this is the first time they’ve ever rock climbed, shot a bow or cooked over a campfire.”

Guardalabene is part of the reason for this class’s addition to the curriculum. He explains that he had been asked to develop a new adventure curriculum back in 2014 by then P.E. Division Chair John Beerbower and Carl Vallianatos, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

“My goals for the students is to let them experience some activities that they wouldn’t get to experience in a traditional Physical Education setting,” Guardalabene explains, “[I’m] hoping they find something they will continue doing long after they graduate high school.”

As the students begin to repel down the rockwall, they learn not only how to balance on a small platform, but to face and overcome fears with the company of friends.