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  • Sarah Vest

Embracing the Rainy Days

When it comes to GAP school, many envision sunny days filled with laughter, exploration, and hands-on learning. However, there's a unique magic that unfolds after a day of rain. The pitter-patter of raindrops creates an atmosphere of freshness, and Learners find themselves immersed in a world of unique experiences that add a layer of excitement to their outdoor school adventures.


The Refreshing Start: Rainy days at outdoor schools offer a refreshing change of pace. As Learners step onto the damp grounds, they are greeted by the earthy aroma of wet soil (known as “petrichor”) and the sound of raindrops tapping on leaves. This change in weather sets the stage for a day filled with unexpected surprises and unexplored wonders.


Learners were making observations before nature journaling. 

Nature's Classroom Comes Alive: The rain transforms the outdoor environment into a vibrant, living classroom. Puddles and Kinser’s Creek become natural laboratories, and Learners explore the environmental changes in the aftermath of rainfall. Educators seize the opportunity to teach about the water cycle, buoyancy, ecological alterations, and the interconnectedness of ecosystems in a way that captivates the Learners' attention. What a unique opportunity for our nature journals! 


Eureka! Mushrooms!

Team-Building Through Adversity: Rainy days foster a sense of camaraderie among Learners. Navigating through muddy trails, working together to build boats for boat racing, and collectively facing the challenges of the weather build resilience and teamwork. These shared experiences create lasting bonds and teach valuable life skills that go beyond the traditional classroom setting.


The boats that the learners raced were made completely from items found in nature!

Creative Learning Opportunities: GAP school often embraces a hands-on and experiential approach to education. Rainy days provide an opportunity for creative learning activities. From the science of layering our clothes, measuring rainfall and the depths of Kinser’s Creek (8 inches deep in some locations), to searching for animal tracks after a storm, Learners engage in interactive lessons that spark curiosity and ignite a passion for the natural world.


Water Play and Rainy-Day Games: What better way to celebrate a rainy day than with some water play? GAP school transforms into a playground of puddles, and Learners enthusiastically engage in rain-inspired games. From mud painting, leaf races, waterfall discoveries to boat relays, the joy of being outdoors is amplified by the rainy conditions, creating memories that will be cherished for years to come.


The leaf races begin.

Reflection and Gratitude: After a day of rain-soaked adventures, Learners often gather to reflect on their experiences. This reflection fosters an appreciation for the beauty of nature, the resilience of the human spirit, and the joy that can be found even in unexpected circumstances. These reflections become an integral part of the GAP school experience, shaping the way Learners view the world around them.


Emeralds and Silvers will be familiar with this passage from the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address where we show gratitude for The Waters.(This image is from the National Museum of the American Indian.)

While sunny days at GAP school are undeniably delightful, the magic of rainy days should not be overlooked. Embracing the rain adds a layer of spontaneity, excitement, and connection to the natural world, creating an unforgettable experience for Learners. So, the next time the clouds gather, let the rain be the catalyst for a day filled with laughter, exploration, and the joy of outdoor learning at GAP! 



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