Adventures in Learning

York County Coast Star
October 25, 2010

Last week Middle School of the Kennebunks seventh-graders quite literally stepped out of their comfort zones during the school’s annual “field trip.”

At The Leadership School, part of Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, students found themselves 50 feet above ground on the high-ropes course, sleeping in a cabin with a dozen or so classmates — many away from home for the first time — and hoisting one another over a stockade fence, among four days jam-packed with lessons in adventure.

“Our trip to the Leadership School at Camp Kieve was a huge success!” said Lindsey Hansen, MSK seventh-grade science teacher and Camp Kieve co-coordinator. “Students developed skills in positive communication, team-building, and leadership. Through these experiences, kids got to know each other and bonded over a shared experience. They also stepped outside their comfort zone to become positive risk-takers, caring, and principled learners, which are all goals of the IB Learner Profile.”

Their trip to The Leadership School at Kieve, an annual opportunity funded in part by parents and in part by the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel, combines rigorous group work, individual reflection, and a host of adventure-based initiatives relevant to the issues youth face daily, both in and out of the school. Many MSK teachers joined the students, who took positive risks, set meaningful goals, made healthy decisions, all while being supportive team members and strong leaders.

While the ultimate goal is student growth, which will develop later at home, the students were quick to appreciate the many lessons they learned last week.

Excerpted from their camp journals, students shared their thoughts on the opportunity:

“I achieved my goal! Not only did I make new friends, but I learned more about some that I wasn’t very close with. I think it is important the we went to Kieve because it let us escape from society, and not having to worry about what’s going on. Instead we got to learn in a wonderful environment. I think it really helped us become better students and friends. A few things I learned at Kieve is that if you really listen to people you can get a better outcome out of it than you originally thought.”
— Mary Coururier

“At Camp Kieve, I learned all sorts of things that will most likely help me in the long run, the biggest one being trust. I learned new things about my friends and that they could help me if I needed it, like all the times at the high ropes course with them belaying me. All of the elements, from high ropes course to indoor rock climbing and more, you learn a special characteristic that will stay with you for your whole life.”

— Gabe V

“I learned at Kieve that it’s not always about winning. It’s the fun and teamwork. I learned to make new friends even if you’re not sure, and that risks can be positive and negative. I learned to be myself, because I want people to like me for who I am, and not the person that I try to be, because then I will have no real friends.”

— Maggie Brooks

“I think it is important that seventh-graders go to Camp Kieve because seventh grade is has the most social divide, and “cool groups.” It is important to break these groups up. Also, seventh-graders sometimes have a hard time staying motivated, and Kieve really gets us movtivated to keep working hard, and it helps us bring new ideas to our regular school classes.”

— Lily Verna
“I think it is important for seventh-graders to go to Kieve because I feel that I learned way more about my classmates. Last year it took me about the whole year to get to know my classmates. At Kieve I learned the same as I did in a whole year last year, in one week.”

— Perrin Conant


“I learned many things at Kieve. I learned about not judging people and we talked about bullying. We learned about what can be or what pictures can mean. We also learned how to work together with everyone. In the end, we learned many important things at Camp Kieve.”

— Trevor Nelson
“I did achieve my goal for Kieve. I wanted to become more of a leader, and I think I really did, but I also learned when it was my turn to follow. I earned a lot of trust from different people at Kieve. I gained trust with teachers, counselers, and many students. I’m really proud of myself for accomplishing my other goal to climb a hard challenges course element. I did the high 50 twice, and I climbed the telephone pole. I was the first in line for the telephone pole and I didn’t see anyone else do it so I had to listen and trust the counseler (and everybody that was cheering me on), and I climbed to the top, stood on top of it, and then I jumped off and caught the trapeeze! I was really happy and shaky! I think it’s important for students to go to Kieve because it makes a tighter bond with the whole grade, and the staff that worked with us. I feel really lucky that I was apart of this because it was such an amazing experience.”

— Olivia Aiken


“I think it’s good to attend Kieve because you get to learn how to work in a group better, you get better communication skills, and IT WILL BE THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE!”

— Cam Lovejoy

“I think it really brought us together. From the first to the last day my homeroom had really changed. We were closer and really were working well together.”

— Piper Kingston
“I got know a lot of people, and not just in my cabin. I made a lot of friendships and I hope I can keep them throughout the school year.”

— Michael Meads


“I did not climb the telephone pole because I was too afraid, all though it looked like a lot of fun. But my grow group became the bestest of friends which iI thought was amazing. Most of us made a new friend in our grow group. I think it’s important 7th graders go to The Leadershsip School because it builds trust, and independence. Your taking a chance by putting your own life in someone else’s hands. There was so much to learn at Kieve. We learned how to trust each other, stick up for ourselves, and we learned that everybody is different in there own special way.”

— Ashlyn Murphy


“At Kieve I learned about the feelings of other people, the ways that we compare ourselves to others, and mostly about how to work and communicate with others.”
— Jordyn Sullivan


“I learned that it’s OK to take risks and it’s a good thing to step out of your comfort zone so that you know that you can achieve something if you put your mind to it.”

— Tom Zub


“At Kieve I accomplished my goal of being a risk-taker by jumping off the telephone pole and tried tye-dye. I think it was imortant that seventh-graders go to Kieve because kids made stronger relationships with their friends and made some new friends. I also think it was important that seventh-graders go because then they can learn that they shouldn’t stereotype and/or label people by their looks, what they have, and other things that shouldn’t make up a person.”

— Mia Murray
“I think it’s important for seventh-graders to attend Camp Kieve because in seventh grade, a lot of seventh-graders have electronics, so I think it’s important to just let them be electronic-free for a week. Also I think that it’s a good confidence booster camp, which some kids really need. Also to make new friends, and cabin friends.”

— Leah Bridgham

How to help

Like the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel and its mission? The Nonantum Resort will hold its “Breakfast for a Cause” on behalf of the nonprofit group from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday Oct. 27. Cost is $15.95 for adults, $7.95 for kids under 12. A portion of the price will be donated to the Education Foundation. No reservations required. Walk-ins are welcome.

Since 2006 the Education Foundation has funded creative programming for students and teacher training that falls outside of the school budget. The Education Foundation is a non-profit organization operated by volunteers in RSU 21. For more information about the Foundation, visit