Explore Students and Staff Bond at Camp Bernie

(October 4th, 2019 — Jersey City) On Tuesday, October 1st, Explore Middle School kicked off October and an early start to the “Week of Respect” by visiting the YMCA’s Camp Bernie to participate in team-building challenges.

Community and teamwork are the foundation of Explore Middle School and its success. This was shared with students early in the year and demonstrated on “Friday Field Day” during the first week of school. Students were encouraged to engage with their peers from various grades as they participated in a variety of games such as basketball, football, and volleyball or join in other activities like karaoke.

In an effort to continue this momentum and begin the “Week of Respect” a school-wide field trip was arranged to Camp Bernie to participate in trust, communication, and mutual respect activities. The different exercises allowed students and staff to have a greater understanding of themselves, their relationships with others, their shared environments, and their responsibility to respect and nurture one another.

Students were placed in mixed grade level groups of fifteen and challenged with tasks which required collaboration, communication, problem solving, and thinking outside of the box. 

7th grader Melike Kunukcu, enjoyed both the experience of venturing outside of her comfort zone and bonding with her peers.

“This trip was really fun. It was something very different for me to be out in nature like that. It was also different to be put into specific situations with people I didn’t know that well. I enjoyed the teambuilding. My group worked really hard on the “Extinct Bird Egg” challenge. We had to retrieve golf balls which were the “extinct eggs” from cans that were placed high in the trees. We could only use each other and the resources around us to get them. We had to talk through different ideas and rely on each other physically to achieve our goals. We came up with great ideas and we were successful.”

“Explore Middle School functions as one big, extended family. It is important for the 6th graders to not only develop relationships with one another, but also with the staff and upperclassmen. The activities at Camp Bernie not only helped build relationships with the 6th grade class but also reinforced relationships among the 7th and 8th graders. I’d like to thank all of the staff and returning students for being such wonderful role models to the 6th graders and I look forward to attending more field trips with the students this school year,” Principal Allyson Krone shared.

The staff and students at Explore would like to give a special thanks to Hudson County Schools of Technology Foundation for making the trip possible.

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