Skip to Content

No school means more time outdoors at River Bend Nature Center

FARIBAULT, Minn. (FOX 47) -- With many schools out of session in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, River Bend Nature Center in Faribault has found a way to keep young area kids off the couch and learning.

It's called "School's Out Adventure Day." It's a series of day long camps open to kindergarten through 5th grade students on days when school's not in session. Monday's big topic was winter survival.

"So we are talking about how animals survive the Minnesota winters when they aren't hibernating or migrating," said Naturalist Program Coordinator Brittany Smith. "And then we are also putting in there, the ability for humans to survive if there were to be lost in the woods."

"We're making a snow fort and we're all working really, really hard," said participant Aubrey Schaefer.

Including learning how to build a shelter and even a fire out of what resources are available during the winter, even if it means a short hike in the woods.

Reporter: "So what are these little walls you're building here?" Participant Noah Sheehy replied, "I'm pretty sure it's so when it's windy, it hits [the wall] and doesn't hit the fort so you can stay warm."

"We're going to find sticks for the fire, to stay warm," said participant Kaitlin Bailey.

All while enjoying a cold and sunny Minnesota afternoon outdoors, these kids are also learning life lessons.

"Just learning how to communicate, learning how to work as a group, but also learning the nature around us and enjoying what we have, that you don't have to sit in front of a screen to have fun and learn," said Smith.

There are "School's out Adventure days" scattered throughout the school year and some lessons even go along with what kids may be learning in school at the time.

"Each day is a different topic and we have a ton of fun," said Smith. "Some of it is science based, some of it's adventure, some of it's just the kids doing what they want to do outside."

If you're interested in checking out any future activity dates or learning more about the program, click here. Keep in mind, the program is based off the Faribault Public Schools calendar, so the days off at a different school district might not always match up.

Sarah Gannon

Skip to content