Louisville Magazine

FEB 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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kentucktotheworld.org 102 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 2.19 In the Woods Continued from page 37 Along with the rocks, pinecones or other discoveries that may make it into the students' backpacks, they carry a full change of clothes, extra layers, extra hats and mittens, and a water bottle with warm water or tea. For the majority of the time, though, even on the gloomy day when I visit, the kids are generating so much heat that the gloves and hats come off. A couple of rive's mottos are: "Your child will come home dirty or your money back" and "ere's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choic- es." Of course, as Devlin says, it's not a boot camp, and the group goes inside to the nature center if the weather becomes hazardous or if the temperature dips to 15 degrees or below. "We love our sunny days," Devlin says, "but we love our rainy days. e mud, the sounds of the raindrops on the tree can- opy, the rings that it makes in the pond or in the stream, the rivulets that form. We're learning: Worms come up. Why do worms come up? Well, their wormholes are filled with water, they need to breathe, so they come up. Nobody knows why worms come up when it rains, but our kids know because we experience it. "ere's a difference between teaching and learning," Devlin continues, "and for children, their work is play. at's how they learn about their bodies. at's how they learn about cause and effect. at's how they learn about social dynamics." He also mentions confidence, resilience and creative problem-solving, so-called "soft" skills that many experts believe can help the hard skills (like reading and math) sink in better in later years. And in the woods, it's hard to avoid science lessons. Why did the mud freeze? Why does the creek ripple when you drop a stone in it? Why does a leaf fall to the ground slowly and a stick falls quickly? Why do they fall to the ground at all? Risk is also a major theme at rive. Devlin says the instructors remove haz- ards, like broken logs, glass or boards with exposed nails. "But risk abounds in our forest classroom. We've got a log bridge that goes over a stream with a three-and-a-half- foot drop. ere's risk there. ere's uneven surfaces. ere's stumps to climb," Devlin says. "All of those are manageable levels of

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