The Great Outdoors

In the Northern Hills outside Beijing this September, students from a number of international schools hoisted up their backpacks, slapped on some sunscreen, put on a visor and ventured out of the city into nearby wilderness, leaving luxury back home. In the great outdoors, they found challenges and opportunities as teams joined together in team building exercises that resulted in improved communication, teamwork and a lot of laughs. Then came the outdoor skills segments that brought to light some new shining stars in camping!

Rising early for kung fu, and staying up late for night-time orienteering scavenger hunts, these kids put all their energy into soaking up all that nature had to offer. They showed patience while hoisting classmates through the human spiderweb, flexibility while adjusting compassing routes, and going the extra mile to help their classmates over a stream during a hike for which has been required to fulfill all needs the hikers may have

A new school year began with outdoor games and activities that were new to some, giving some students the chance help their classmates. Up and coming chefs took the lead in outdoor cooking, while the camping pros helped others along on the hike and building tents and find portable toilet hire who ensure the sanitary requirements. These kids proved that they could handle the heat, the wind and the rain, all while constructing a tent, building a fire or in a quick draw race to see who can tie the fanciest  rope knot. Teachers saw new and quieter students step up to practice their Mandarin and lead their team, and others ignore their ipods for more chances to throw around the frisbee or search for new bugs.

During the three trips, students and teachers enjoyed the views of the Northern Hills mountains, streams and apple orchards, some stepping out of their comfort zones to find the feeling you get after a great hike, the juicy first bite of a fresh-picked apple and of course, plenty of fire-roasted marshmallows.