Natcher Elementary students take unique field trip to Barefoot Republic Camp

MONROE COUNTY, Ky. – A group of local sixth graders took a field trip to have fun and learn at the same time.

“We created four different rotations with them in collaboration with the Barefoot Republic Group here. They’re going to get a chance to do a rock wall activity. They get to do the zip lining… and then there’s two mental health lessons… with our guidance counseling team that they’re going to lead a session as well. So they’re going to go through these four different rotations,” Natcher Elementary Principal Matt Thornhill says.

1 of these 4 rotations allows students to pass around an apple and give it compliments or insults. They would then cut the apple open and see how their words “hurt it.”

“The one that had mean things said to it… we had already done some things to it to make it be sort of sour and rotten looking inside. So we talked about how people may call you names or they may say things to you that are hurtful and you can’t really say it on the outside because both apples look the same,” Natcher guidance counselor John Swack says.

Even Principal Thornhill wanted to get in on the fun.

“During my guidance counseling classes, we learned these different magic tricks as an easy, simple way to connect some abstract ideas to concrete things. In this sense where we utilize the air bags, I’m in a science experiment with these air bags where you take the air around you to blow up the bag versus trying to blow it up all by yourself,” he says.

However, staff hope students take away more than how to control their emotions.

“I hope that they build new relationships and friendships with each other, that maybe they see their peers in a different way than they had prior,” Ashley Rich, Teaching & Learning Coach says.