Our Turn: Treehaven
Ms. Sweet, NCSS advisor, has taken the reigns in an ongoing partnership between NCSS and Treehaven. She’s taken groups of students to Treehaven, UWSP’s outdoor education center, on monthly field study experiences with graduate students.
At Treehaven we have done many fun and exciting things. All of those things were educational and fun. Treehaven is an outside classroom with awesome teachers that love to get outside and have fun. We have done a lot of things outside including hiking, snowshoeing, identifying trees, shelter making, and once we even saw a porcupine.
The last trip our school group took to Treehaven was on Thursday, March 19, and we learned how to tell the difference between coniferous trees. We looked at a Jack Pine and learned about it, we then wrote the information down in journals that we were given. We learned that there are male and female parts on a tree. The pinecones are the female and the pollen sacks are the male. Some pinecones that I saw were as big as sausages!
Nicole Swanson, an NCSS student said, “My favorite thing we did at Treehaven has to be cross country skiing. My favorite activity was going on the tree identifying walk. I learned how to identify trees.”
One day we did a survival “test.” We made these stick houses/shelters (forts) outside and made them so they block the wind, are comfortable, and compact. We had a time limit of one hour. Before that, we did an activity with cards that had different supplies on them. We chose which of the supplies were most important and once we decided, the leader gave us a scenario where we would get a certain amount of points added or subtracted from our amount for making correct choices. Then we took the final count of the points and the leader had a sheet of paper that said that you made it home if you had this amount of points, or got lost with this amount.
Jamie Halbman, an NCSS student talked about her favorite moments and activities at Treehaven. She said the following, “Favorite thing for this semester, I’d probably say the solo walks we went on. With things normally so loud, being able to be alone in nature was nice and peaceful. My favorite activity is one we did the first year I went to Treehaven – shelter building, and we did it this semester as well. We got to build little shelters outside using materials we found, and we designed them as if we were in a survival situation. It was a lot of fun to do, just like it was last time!”
Treehaven is a fun place to explore while being outside. It is a great way to learn and not be stuck at a desk all day. Our next trip to Treehaven is on Tuesday, April 21. We will be learning in the area of environmental education. Treehaven is open to the public for the outdoors and hikes and cross country skiing in the winter. For their facilities you would have to call for more details: Their phone number is: 715-453-4106, Fax: 715-346-2465. They also have a website and it is: (http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/treehaven/Pages/default.aspx)