On October 18, 2019, the Canajoharie Central School’sSchool’s 7th-grade class participated in a mountain biking adventure with the Black River Outdoor Education Program in Forestport, NY.
The students learned about bike safety, the proper way to ride and maneuver a bike, leadership, and team-building skills. During the day, the students went on a variety of trails geared toward their ability levels and were led by an experienced Black River Coach. The levels of trails ranged from Advanced to Intermediate to beginners. The students in each group were given jobs, such as Leader, and Trail Boss, who is the last person and needed to account for everyone in line, but all students were in charge of helping each other. Also, they were taught to yell out safety commands, such as “hazard,” stopping,” walking,” feathering,” and “1, 2, 3 riding.” These commands helped to provide a safe and interactive adventure where each student needed to do his/ her part to keep the group moving smoothly.
“The most fun thing about this trip is that I got to come with my friends,” said, Veranika, seventh-grader at Canajoharie Middle School.
About the Butler Conservation Fund
The Black River Outdoor Education Program was established in 1988 by philanthropist, Gilbert Butler, who believes that all kids should have access to outdoor activities. Since its inception, the foundation has created a network of nine campuses, accumulating over 200 square miles, and has plans to expand further. Some of the activities available for the students to learn about at these campuses include hiking, biking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. To help students appreciate this nature, he has outfitted the camps at the campuses with top of the line sporting equipment, such as kayaks, trailers, mountain bikes, safety gear, skis, and boots. The camp alone cost one million dollars to build! His fantastic generosity allows our students to have a unique experience in nature with their friends.
The foundation’s goals are:
- to nurture awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the natural environment;
- to develop in young people a sense of responsibility for protecting the natural world and becoming its future stewards;
- to enrich students’students’ classroom knowledge of ecology, biology, geology, and history;
- to give young people the experience of, and instruction in, a variety of aerobic activities, such as kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing with programs tailored to different age groups and skill levels;
- to improve their physical endurance and general health.