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Nature's Classroom
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Can I bring any electronic devices such as Game-Boys, walkmans, cell phones or mini televisions?

A. No! You won't have any time to use them. On the bus ride up, everyone is so excited, you'll be talking to your friends. Furthermore, who needs the aggravation of losing it or worrying about it getting stolen? It won't be necessary for you to bring a hair dryer. You may borrow one from a chaperone. Don't bother bringing a cell phone; there is no signal. The one "device" that is allowed is a camera. We suggest bringing a disposable camera rather than an expensive digital camera which can be lost.

Q. What time do we have to go to bed?

A. Every night, the Nature's Classroom staff have a great activity planned which usually ends at around 9:30 P.M. Immediately after we return to the dormitories. The first night of our stay we usually have a floor meeting to review behavior expectations and to go over some other "dormitory" things. After that, some people take showers, some people work on their Nature's Classroom journals. "Lights out" usually occurs between 10:00PM. and 10:30P.M.

Q. What time do we have to get up?

A. It depends on how long it takes you to get ready. Breakfast begins at 8:00 A.M. If you are a waitron, you need to be in the dining hall by 7:45. Usually people wake up around 7:00-7:30. You will fill out a "wake-up" time on your door sheet to let the chaperones know what time you would like to get up. (You won't need an alarm clock!)

If you attempt to sneak out of your room in the middle of the night, the motion detectors will activate the lights, and the creaky floor boards will let the chaperones know!

Q. What is Ort?

A. Ort is wasted food. The Nature's Classroom staff would like you to make better choices when piling up food on your plate. Only put on your plate what you are certain you can eat.(You can always take half of something to try it first.) Any thing left on your plate will become ort and therefore go in the official "ort" bucket for analysis.

Q. What do I do if I don't like what the waitrons bring out from the kitchen?

A. At every meal there is a salad bar which often includes soup, fruit, PP & J sandwiches, and more! The breakfast bar includes cereal such as Cheerios, Cap't Crunch, Rice Crispies. At breakfast, there is usually yogurt and hot oatmeal. There will be special food for those that celebrate Passover.

Q. What is a waitron?

A. During our first meal at Nature's Classroom, you will select a future meal to be responsible for. Your responsibilities may include:

-setting the table (You arrive 15 minutes before everyone else.)

-going into the kitchen to get the meal (using a tray)

-getting up from the table to get items such as napkins, etc. for those seated at your table.

-organizing the garbage and ort pile.

-clearing the table

-wiping the table

Q. Will I get to choose my room mate?

A. Yes. Your room mate must be on the same team as you! For example, Ms. Corigliano's class may bunk with people from Ms. Moehler's class. About a month before our departure, your homeroom teacher will ask you to write down the names' of three students that you would like to bunk with. If you have earned the trust of your teachers, there should be no problem honoring your request. Especially if your choice also wrote your name as well. Your homeroom teacher will let you know when and how the room mate selection process will occur.

 

Q. When do we have free time with our friends?

A. After lunch we have an hour break. You sign up with your chaperones/teachers where you plan to be during that break. For example, you may decide to play basketball in the gym (or outside if it is nice). There is also time between field group and classes.

 

Q. Do I have to dissect any animals?

A. For 2:00 and 4:00 classes, dissections are always available, but you are never forced to take a dissection class. During meal time, the N.C. staff will do an "infomercial" on the classes that they will be offering. Listen carefully, because later you will have to decide which class you want to sign up for.

 

Q. How long is the bus trip to Silver Bay?

A. It takes about 90 minutes to get there from Lisha Kill. If you have experienced motion sickness in the past, we recommend that you take an anti-motion sickness medication for the ride. (Many students in the past got sick!)

 

Q. What is transition time?

A. Transition time is when you return to the dormitories to prepare for what ever the next activity is. For example, after breakfast, we return to the dormitories to allow you time to brush your teeth, use the rest room, and change into the appropriate clothing for field groups. Be sure you are dressed properly for each activity. You will not be allowed to return to get anything!

 

Q. Can you bring any snacks?

A. No. There is plenty of food for you to eat at Nature's Classroom. Furthermore,  the Nature's Classroom staff does not want to to attract bugs and mice in the rooms.

 

Q. Should I bring any money?

A. No. There is nothing to buy at Nature's Classroom.

 

Q. How many people bunk in one room?

A. Most of the rooms have two beds. (There are only four room with more than that) You will be happy to know that each room has its own bathroom that includes a sink, toilet, and a shower. Boys usually bunk on the first floor; girls usually bunk on the second floor. (Attempting to sneak to the opposite gender's floor may result in an immediate "go home.") You may not be in the dormitories with out a chaperone!

 

Q. May I hang out in my friend's dorm?

A.No. You are only allowed to enter the room that was assigned to you. If you want to spend time with your friends during transition time, you must do it in the hallway.

 

Q. Do we need an alarm clock?

A. No. The chaperones will assist you in waking up when you need to.

 

Q. Do the rooms have televisions?

A. No. You wouldn't have time (nor would you want to) watch television.

 

Q. What if I get home-sick?

A. We usually suggest that you try to get through the first night. If by day 2, you're stilll very anxious, let your teacher know. You may also want to warn your parents ahead of time that home-sickness is a concern for you. It will not be convenient for them to come pick you up.

 

Q. What if I have trouble sleeping at night?

A. Being in a foreign place, you may find it difficult to sleep. You will need to respect your room mate's right to get a good night's rest. You may have to count sheep!

 

Q. When do I take my medications?

A. The nurse reports to the dining hall for every meal. If you take medications, go to the nurse's table/office after the meal.(If you forget, they usually make a general announcement or come look for you.  The nurse also attends the evening activity to pass out meds at night.

 

Q. What do we do if it rains/snows?

A. Regardless of the weather, many of the activities will be held outdoor, hence the name, "Nature's Classroom." Hopefully, you see the need to bring something that will keep you dry when you are outside. If you do not have a rain coat, a NC satff member can make you one out of a large garbage bag.

 

Q. What is Field Group?

A. You will be in a group with 10 or 11 other students. It is our hope that you will make new friends at Nature's Classroom. To facilitate this, most field groups will have one student from each section. During FG, your FG leader will be doing many activities outdoors, such as hiking, team building activities, nature studies.

 

Q. Who will I be with during meals?

A. It is our hope that you will make new friends at Nature's Classroom. To facilitate this, most tables will have one student from each section (No more than 7 students). There will also be one adult at each table. The adults usually rotate to different tables for different meals. Don't worry, You'll have time after each meal to spend with your friends.

 

Q. What if I become ill at Nature's Classroom.

A. The NC nurse and your parents will help determine whether you need to go home or not. If you develop a fever, you most likely will need to go home. You would be entitled to a partial refund. If you need to be hospitalized, you will be transported to Ticonderoga by ambulance.

 

Q. What if I get in trouble at Nature's Classroom?

A. The same rules that we have at school apply at Nature's Classroom. If there is a need for you to be sent home, you will not get a refund. Your parents will be responsible for picking you up. They won't be happy to make a 90 minute drive to come get you. The drive home for another 90 minutes won't be pleasant either!!! The best thing to do......... be on your best behavior.

 

Q: Can we wear pajamas to breakfast?

A: No! You must be ready to start your day before you arrive at the dining hall!

 

Q: Can we wear shorts or sandals to feild group or to classes?

A: Absolutely not. For your own comfort and safety, you MUST wear pants and your feet must be completely covered. (This can protect you against disesases such as Lyme Disease.)

 

Q. Can people send me mail at Nature's Classroom?

A. Absolutely!-Mail should be addressed as follows:

Child's Name

C/O Homeroom Teacher's Name/Section LKMS

Nature's Classroom

Silver Bay Associates

Silver Bay, New York 12874

 

Emergency Phone: 543-6399 (Students will not be permitted to use the phone)

Cell phones do not work at Silver Bay.

 

Q: What kind of busses do we take to Nature's Classroom?

A: In the past, we have taken "Brown Coach" busses to Nature's Classroom. Unfortunately, the budget has forced us to use school busses for the 2010 trip. Be sure to have an empty bladder before getting on the bus!

 

Q. If my question was not answered as a result of reading this, who could I contact?

 

A. Ms. Moehler is one of the teachers that organizes the trip every year.Feel free to send her an e-mail with your question.

katherine.moehler@southcolonieschools.k12.ny.us

 

Clich here to see a map of the campus.