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Review for Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center, Inc., Parkton, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Why do I bring my 8th graders to Genesee Valley?

Team and Community Building activities. We also want the students the challenge themselves physically, emotionally, and socially. The students also work on our 4 Rs : Risk, Responsibility, Respect and Relationships.

Our annual 3 day 2 night trip is full of traditions.

As I sit here in my office, I am surrounded by one of the Indian Creek School traditions. The signatures of all eighth graders from 1985 through 2014 are on display on the 30 bandanas that were autographed by the students during our annual 8th grade camping trips to Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center in Parkton, MD. We have been bringing our middle school students to GVOLC since 1981 for team and community building experiences. On the 1985 trip, I decided to commemorate a really good camping trip with a great bunch of students by having them sign a bandana that I happened to be using at that time. This bandana was then hung in my science classroom. The following year, the next group of eighth graders, upon completing their trip to GVOLC said, “Don’t we get to sign a bandana?” I realized at that time that a new tradition was beginning. After fifteen years of collecting these bandanas, I ran out of space for displaying them in my office. With the help of a talented woman from a local fabric store, I was able to stitch the bandanas into a quilt. Now, 15 years after completing that quilt, it is now time to make a second quilt.

As I reflect back over my 34 years here at the CREEK and glance over the 1500 plus signatures, these students will always be my middle schoolers. When alumni come back to visit me, we go to their bandana, find their name and have a great time catching up on their classmates and sharing stories of their time in middle school. For the past 30 years, each CREEKER middle school alumnus has left his/her name in writing on a bandana, and each one has also left an imprint in my memory, creating an integral part of my joyful journey as a middle school educator. GVOLC DEFINETLY IS ONE OF THOSE SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES AND MEMORIES FOR MY STUDENTS.
Bruce E. Crossman
Head of Middle School
Indian Creek School
October 24, 2014

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