The grade 8 trip was short, but full of substance. The friendly and enthusiastic Dragonfly staff was engaging and safety conscious. Whenever possible, this trip was catered to student choice. This began on the first full day of activities, as students could choose from a longer, more physically taxing bike ride, a shorter, scenic bike ride, or Chinese painting. After these activities, students visited a local family temple and learned about local culture. The other major activity for the day focused around tea. Students picked tea leaves, learned about processing tea, and participated in a tea serving ceremony. The evening concluded with each advisory presenting puppet shows they had been rehearsing in school with marionettes provided by a local puppeteers.
The second full day of activities began with a van ride to round mud houses. In advisories, students toured the local Hakka village while completing tasks and challenges. They searched for clues, read maps, questioned locals, and ordered their own lunch. 8 metal won the challenge for that day. Congratulations! Students hiked back to the village and participated in a soil sample activity. .
The third and final day of activities was the most physically strenuous of the trip. This was the community service day. Students once again were able to choose their activities. Choices were weeding tea plants, cleaning irrigation gutters, or planting. Each group achieved more than was anticipated and was very proud of all they accomplished. After a shower, students gathered for the celebratory banquet. This is a tradition of the grade 8 trip. After eating together, students get the opportunity to address all students about the week. While this can sometimes be emotional, all students feel as a big grade 8 family and understand the importance of all they can achieve when they work together.
Meaghan Wilson l Life Skills & Physical Education Instructor