Exploring Nature and Building Community at Hemlock Park

The third grade trip to Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Clifton, Virginia began in the late 1990s and is a tradition that continues to delight the students and teachers who attend the day of team-building activities and outdoor exploration.

Through a variety of stations, students learn about everything from shelter-building to local flora and fauna to what types of plants deer eat. Most stations are designed with a team-building component, such as guiding a blind-folded classmate to a tree so they can use their other senses to discover features of the tree or working together to build a shelter from branches, leaves, and grass.

The day’s events culminate in a celebration featuring team cheers, dinner, and a bonfire with s’mores and sing-along songs. This year, we had to improvise a bit due to a very wet September, and thanks to the quick thinking of park staff we were able to enjoy s’mores around an indoor fireplace. Despite the change in scenery, it was a very memorable send-off for all!

Hemlock marks the beginning of third graders’ final year at Beauvoir, setting students up for a year of collaboration with friends and teachers, curious learning, outdoor adventures, and new journeys.

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