I have always been a nature lover. I find peace in the quiet majesty of mountains, in the hidden depths of rushing waves. Loving nature is an essential part of who I am.
As a physical educator, I believe it’s important to give students the opportunity to be active beyond the field and the court, immersed in the outdoors. This year, I organized a field trip for our fifth graders, taking them to one of the most beautiful country parks of Hong Kong.
Many people picture Hong Kong as a huge, bustling city, where shopping is the only thing on everyone’s mind. In reality, Hong Kong is full of hidden havens and natural treasures. Hundreds of islands and hiking trails give us the opportunity to experience the outdoors in an active, immersive way.
I wanted my students to experience this kind of environment, so I contacted an outdoor activity company for suggestions. They recommended “canyoning” as a good activity for my students’ age range.
It took two hours to travel from Shekou to Sai Kung Country Park, which is located in the New Territories. This long drive posed some limitations on the activities we could participate in, but that didn’t matter in the end — everyone had a blast.
The counselors had tons of energy and did a wonderful job explaining the importance of safety and respect. They also taught students important tips about being a global citizen in all aspects of their everyday lives.
Our main activity consisted of hiking down a river while navigating over the rocky slope. Students learned how to spot safe stepping rocks by looking at their color. A gray rock was dry enough to walk on, while darker, brownish rocks were wet or covered in algae, which meant they were too slippery for our feet.
Students learned how to communicate with their peers by letting them know if a rock was wobbly or looked unstable. They helped each other to the best of their ability, offering their hand and words of encouragement if a classmate needed some extra assistance.
Throughout the trip, my students constantly offered positive observations and comments, such as, “This is so cool,” “I love it,” and “This is so fun!”
At the end of our river journey, we glimpsed a gorgeous view of the ocean — such a pretty and relaxing sight, surrounded by trees and mountains. We could even see a few fish swimming the crystal-clear water. We were so lucky to have chosen a bright, sunny day for our field trip. The sky was blue, and the pollution that had been quite bad in Shenzhen suddenly seemed to have vanished. It felt like paradise.
We stepped out of the riverbank and out of the canyon, shaking the water from our clothes. We returned to the campsite by hiking on a pleasant trail through the forest.
I am attaching parts of students’ field trip reflections to this post. Many of them are EAL (English as an Additional Language) students so you may encounter spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in their pieces. Please understand that this is part of their learning process, as they continue to discover new ways to communicate their thoughts.