How do you learn best? Researchers assert that there are several different learning styles. Camp is a place perfect for tactile, hands-on, experiential learning. What we teach is meant to augment what is learned in the classroom and to help prevent summer learning loss. This week is one example of this hands-on method. As you may have read in the latest Greenie Gazette or our most recent press release, the Higgins Lake Staff Certification School got off to a great start certifying staff from camps in Michigan. It is part of our recent strategic plan to train camp leaders. By the beginning of next week, we will have certified lifeguards, sailing counselors, archers, ropes facilitators for Lighthouse Climb, high ropes, and low ropes, and trained professional rescuers in CPR, first aid, and use of AEDs. Below our new certified sailing counselors share what they learned in our outdoor classroom on the Lake:
We started the course learning about US sailing protocol. One such aspect of the US sailing protocol is how to go about teaching, which includes safety, fun, and learning, in that order. From this we moved onto risk management, learning to identify risks, evaluate them and deal with any that have been identified. We then learnt how to present material to kids and different methods of teaching such as kinaesthetic, auditory and visual. We studied what we thought was the most important points to teach beginner sailors first, going through this as a group. Examples of these are points of sail, wind awareness and directional terminology. At the end of the day, we were given a knot to learn so that we could teach it to the rest of the class the day after. We began the second day by teaching each other the different types of knots such as the cleat knot, clove hitch, figure of eight, etc. We had a review of what we learnt the day before to make sure that it had stuck. Once finished, we gathered outside to practice rigging a boat and from the knowledge that we had gained previously, we made an adjustment to the rigging so that it would sail more smoothly. After lunch, we went over further sailing methods before we each had our exit conference to find out if we had passed or not. We all passed and all thoroughly enjoyed our course. We look forward to getting to pass on these skills which we have learnt.