Three organizations and one inspired teacher created a remarkable outdoor adventure for Banaadir Academy students this fall.

Ms. Albin, former Banaadir Art teacher and current MTS Art teacher, organized the outing with the help of two organizations that create outdoor programs with young people in Minnesota, Big City Mountaineering and Friends of the Boundary Waters.  With canoes, paddles, compasses and a lot of happiness, students and guides met on Lake Nokomis on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

This kind of event would be welcome in almost any circumstance, but more than ever during a pandemic and during distance learning since it was an opportunity for students to see friends and teachers, spend time in nature and race using compasses to search for treats located at points around the lake.  

Ms. Albin’s love for these kinds of adventures led her to seek out organizations to help provide outdoor experiences.  Big City Mountaineering has helped with several other trips for students from Banaadir and MTS Secondary in previous school years and will continue to do so in the future.  During distance learning, BCM has also been organizing online events for MTS and Banaadir students such as zoom forums, “Careers in the Great Outdoors” and “Outdoor Storytelling.”

The big lesson for students was learning to familiarize themselves with using a compass.  Prizes were hidden at certain locations around the lake, and the compass directed them where to go.  “This is great, I am such an outdoor person!” one student said.

And to top it all off, the students were given a bag of art supplies to use at home for their creations.

Positive, safe events and small positive opportunities can really have an impact on a student’s life, especially in these uncertain times.