FernLeaf believes in hands-on, experiential learning as a key way to foster curiosity and deep learning in our students. We believe in this SO strongly that our teachers coordinate multiple different optional travel opportunities, domestic and overseas, throughout the year for our students. From September 18 - September 23, 2022 three of our teachers and a small group of students went on a journey across our state to learn more about its diversity and beauty. Students will journey from the coast to the mountains. These blog posts are written by the students and will document their adventures and learning!
Our trip began before the break of dawn where we played a game of Tetris with our bags and chose our seats in the vans. We had a 6 hour drive to Carolina Beach State Park which will be our home for the next two nights.
When we got to the state park we set up group norms and goals for our trip while we ate lunch in the shade. When we unloaded from the van we were greeted by a tremendous amount of golden silk spiders suspended in the trees. Some of the spiders' leg span was as big as the kid's hands.
After filling our bellies our group headed to the Fly Trap Trail. At the start of the Fly Trap trail we entered a unique costal forest that is made up of long leaf pine and live oaks. At our first boardwalk stop we spotted 2 carnivorous plants: Venus fly traps and Pitcher Plants. Plants have adapted to the acidic soil by consuming insects for nutrients. After a short sketch in our journals we kept walking through the forest and learned about it along the way. Due to many forest fires the long leaf pine has adapted to have flakey bark and put their energy into growing 3-6 feet to get their needles above where fire could reach. At the end of our trail we stopped at a small wetland were we saw a salamander laying on a log. We took a moment of silence to look and listen to our surroundings in the wetland.
Next we headed to camp to set up tents. We had a dinner of hot dogs and pasta salad around the camp and headed to the beach. At the beach we shared "I Am" poems to let the group learn about one another and practiced a mindfulness to check in with our surroundings.
Carolina Beach State Park
While we were packing up to leave, another beach goer informed us that SpaceX was about to launch a rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL. We stayed and got to see the rocket glow red and travel across the sky. It was a memorable end to our first night!