Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer of Fun and Play

This past Summer was one full of activity, exercise and fun.  I was not home for two weeks and was off to Raquette Lake in the heart of the Adirondack Park for 12 days.  This was a requirement for my B.S. in Physical Education at SUNY Cortland.  This was one of the most amazing opportunities I have ever been able to experience.  At first, I was uneasy about going because it seemed as though 12 days was going to be a long time without outside contact, but it flew by.  The first few days at camp went by a little slow.  We learned Orienteering and other knowledge about being the outdoors.  We learned how to canoe as well as rescuing people in a flipped canoe.  When the day came for the High Ropes Course, everyone began to understand what the purpose of being there was: working well with others to form a bond.  This is why much of the assessment was Affective Domain dealing with Personal and Social Behavior.  When it was time to pack up and head out into the High Peaks for the next five days, I was excited, but anxious at the same time.  I had always enjoyed hiking, but I had never spent nights out in the mountains before.  It ended up to be a blast, and I plan on doing it again in the future.  I would like to climb all of the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains.  As a future Physical Education teacher, I feel as though students need Outdoor Education.  Learning how to canoe and doing hikes are great ways to influence healthy lifestyles.  By promoting these activities, students gain an opportunity to experience lifetime activities.  They also get to experience of the outdoor aesthetics.  It is an extraordinary way for students to work together as a group or team in order to accomplish goals. 

When I got back from Raquette Lake, I began my 6th Summer as an Assistant Recreation Director for the Town of Fort Edward.  I could not ask for a better Summer job than this.  We provide children with ample opportunities for play throughout the entire Summer.  They are provided with equipment and activities such as basketball, softball, arts and crafts, golf, bowling, weight lifting, volleyball and occasional field trips.  Some of these activities are split up for certain days of the week, but our park is open to anyone with equipment provided.  The Recreation Department is also funded by public tax payers, so the      children are able to participate in the activities for free.  For five weeks, our park hosted a 5th and 6th grade girls basketball league where I was able to referee games for them.  For anyone planning on going to school for education, there is no better job than to be working with kids.  Not only does it give great experience, but it also provides greater enjoyment in working with children.  As a Physical Educator, I feel as though this job working with kids in all of the activities we provide helps even more.

An event I had the opportunity to participate in this Summer was called "Warrior Run."  It was held at West Mountain, a ski mountain, located near Lake George, NY.  It was the first time my area had held this race.  It was a 5K race up and down the mountain with a number of obstacles including walls, fire pit, wind tunnel, etc.  It was not exactly what I expected, but the workout itself was intense.  I was able to complete it in just over 42 minutes which was 246th place out of about 1600 runners.  I was impressed with myself, but not as impressed with two of my friends who finished 2nd and 12th overall.  It was a great thing for us to do not only for the workout, but for the experience as well.  We plan on going on to bigger and tougher things for next Summer, including the Tough Mudder, which takes a good deal of training and preparation.  I think it would be exciting for Physical Education teachers to develop some sort of races for students; preferably high school, with smaller obstacles.  I feel as though students may be more excited to run and get some sort of workout while challenging themselves.

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