Editorial: Learning in the great outdoors

Published 6:25 pm Sunday, October 1, 2017

A day in the woods isn’t just a good time for kids, it can be educational.

That was the purpose of Wayne National Forest celebrating National Public Lands Day by having fourth and fifth grade students from Dawson-Bryant, Chesapeake, Symmes Valley and Rock Hill elementary schools come to the forest.

While it may look at times like the kids were just running around and having a good time, they were actually learning.

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There were 15 stations of activities ranging from collecting bugs, learning local history, viewing the Vesuvius Furnace that gave the lake its name and meeting Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl.

One of the more popular attraction was learning about local history, in particular a re-enactor playing Nannie Kelly Wright, who is the only American woman to be an ironmaster. This is the type of history that rarely makes textbooks or the History Channel. The fact that it happened right in the area made it that much more interesting for the students.

Ohio students spend over 180 days in school. They have to sit in chairs and learn as the teacher talks or shows educational material on a board. While this is the usual way of learning, getting a chance to be outside on nice September day and learn makes for a memorable day.

We commend the Wayne National Forest, and the numerous volunteers, who made this outdoor learning event possible for students.