Naselle sixth graders learn the ropes at Adventure Day

<I>Nathan Reitz photo</I><BR>Naselle sixth graders enjoyed fresh air and fun during Adventure Day at Bruceport County Park last week. Students facing the camera from left to right: Anthony Wirkkala, Kelley Langston, Makayla Mabbitt, Karinda Cooper and Jacob Routtu. Falling is Brian Smith.

BRUCEPORT COUNTY PARK - Under gorgeous sunny skies the Naselle sixth grade class maneuvered their way across "Prouty's Landing" at Bruceport County Park Thursday. They worked as a team on the low rope course to swing each member across the imaginary canyon.

The exercise was part of Adventure Day sponsored by Pacific County Health and Human Services, according to Health Educator Tara Finch. The program has been made available to all 175 sixth graders in the county. Finch said, "The students originally think of Adventure Day as being a lot of fun. They quickly learn that they are developing team-building skills that they can use in the classroom and beyond. The hope is they learn to communicate, create better relationships, and work together, skills that will last a lifetime."

The Adventure Day program is designed to develop 10 essential life skills. Students are guided through outdoor adventures that require increasingly complex skills. The goal is to develop trust, teamwork, and problem-solving ability in a safe and supportive environment for building self-esteem and self-motivation according to Finch. The challenges of the obstacles draw upon the knowledge and ideas of everyone in the group and require participation and cooperation to attain group success.

"We are affording the youth in our area the ability to make valuable life decisions regarding academic success and healthy life choices while enjoying the great outdoors," Finch said. "Our goal is to prevent risky behaviors by replacing them with positive ones."

The Naselle Youth Camp and Pacific County Public Works helped with park maintenance and construction. Members of the NHS senior class Cody Cooley, Nathan Reitz, Nicole Tarabochia and Vicki Corona and sixth-grade teacher Russell Hickman helped with the project.

Students who participated include Dylan Ahmed, Cameron Burch, Ellie Chapman, Shannon Christie, Krinda Cooper, Philippe de Montaudouin, Raja Estes, Elyssa Hale, Andres Hermandez and Kyryn Jacot. Other sixth graders included Jackie Jarrett, Jordan Kochheiser, Kelly Langston, Makayla Mabbitt, Ashley Muessig, Alexis Nortrup and Manaia Pettit.

Also attending Adventure Day were Jacob Routtu, Isabella Salazar, Jacob Scrabeck, Brian Smith, Alex Stenvall, Kyle Strange, Andrew Todd, Arianna Williams, Anthony Wirkkala, Selena Martinez and Isabel Zimmerman.

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