From April 4th to April 11th, the grade 10 PLP cohort went to Loon Lake for field studies. Within just three days, everyone developed one plan or habit that will help us later in real life. But how can a habit or characteristic be established within days? What evidence do we have to demonstrate the growth? In this blog post, I will be sharing with you my Loon Lake journey.
My goal — Becoming Independent
One of the most significant mistakes I made in DI was being dependent; therefore, I wanted to take this chance to solve one of my fundamental problems. Becoming independent is relevant to our lives because it allows us to live our lives how we want. But how can we establish independence within three days? How can we measure success? I never knew what specifically I could do to accomplish this goal. However, with assistance from peers and teachers, the structure became clear. Meanwhile, we have also shared our ideas through a gallery walk. This gallery walk was remarkable because I have gained different perspectives and further developed my goal and plan. Here’s the Smart goal I created to help me gain independence:
After all, the only thing I was unsure about was how I could achieve this. My partners, Quinn and Julien, brought up a valuable point: “What specifically would you do to prove that you have achieved your goal?”. Not only did they point out the weakness of this plan, but they also reminded me to take notable actions. To specify what good looks like, I have created a rubric that defines success criteria and expectations.
Throughout the journey, the rubric played a significant role in helping me achieve my goal. It allowed me to narrow my thoughts and focus on the categories that can be identified. Meanwhile, the rubric also functioned as a reminder to track my progress. The Smart goal chart and the rubric guided me to take action and reach my goal.
1. Morning walk
With the goal in mind, I immediately took action in the morning. Although taking a walk in the mornings wasn’t something I can’t do, my laziness always stop me from waking up early. Jakub and I, however, wanted to make a difference. We went on a hiking trail around Loon Lake, hoping to get a better view. During the walk, we experienced a different style of Loon Lake than we usually see. While the sun was rising, Jakub and I discovered unique flowers, lovely birds and some weird-looking trees. At that moment, I found inner peace in my mind with nature. As I intended to rule my emotions, I felt accomplished at the end of the walk. Even though we never had the time to finish our walk, this experience with nature calmed me down and prepared me for the day.
2. High rope course
On the same day, we had a high roping course. Since I was a kid, I have always been terrified of my heights; therefore, I wasn’t comfortable at all when we started our high ropes lesson. Eventually, I gained confidence as I watched my classmates go. I had the wrong assumption that everything was easy up there, so I also took the chance. As I climbed up the pole, fear took over my mind. When I arrived at the platform, I had the question: “Can I go down?”. I was terrified and the height scared the crap out of me. I didn’t want to go because I believed there was a good chance I could die up there. However, my fear disappeared as my partner, Ryder, climbed up. I realized people were supporting me, which empowered me to take risks. After all, the high rope course challenged my understanding of myself and made me a different person. It was an experience I will never forget in my life.
On the next day, we learned about survival strategies in forests. According to Stantevia, you can only survive three hours on average without a proper shelter. In other words, shelters are more important than water or food. I found it shocking because we often think water has the highest priority. Fortunately, we have a chance to design and build our shelter. My team, Indy, Sophia, Nathan, Jakub and I eventually built a cabin. Although it wasn’t exactly what we suppose to do, it was still evidence of our creativity. One of my criteria for success was being able to turn ideas into reality. From that perspective, I realized I didn’t succeed our cabin was incomplete. Interestingly enough, in the end, our cabin barely fit us and neither did we have a roof. However, I have gained a lot of hands-on experiences and had fun.
While I was working towards my goal, I also noticed changes that occurred in my classmates. Jakub and Liam became more determined and focused; Nathan and Ethan became better listeners, and Logan continuously expand his comfort zone. These role models and their accomplishments helped me clarify many uncertainty and confusions. Meanwhile, it’s also interesting to see how my effort towards the goal had affected others. Each of us interviewed four-person to reflect on our journey and accomplishments. While learning about other people’s goals and journeys, we also got feedback from an outsider’s perspective. (Click here to see the interviews)
Looking back, I have changed throughout the trip. Although I never established full, complete independence within days, the journey at Loon Lake laid a foundation for future growth. Overall, this trip offered many valuable opportunities and experiences, yet it was enjoyable. I look forward to incoming trips in the future!