Each week, the Grand Haven Tribune highlights the ongoing efforts in West Michigan schools through the Classroom of the Week feature.

Here’s more about this week’s featured class:

Teacher: Mrs. Colleen Warner

School: Central High School

Grade(s): 9-12 (but mostly 11 and 12)

What makes your classroom unique?

It’s like a field trip every day; completely hands-on, experiential, outdoor learning. 

How is your classroom involved in the community?

We partner with community members for a variety of activities: Camp Blodgett (high and low ropes – in turn we help with trail maintenance, winter preparation/leaf raking); spend a lot of time at Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl skiing/snowboarding in the winter months (and help with general cleaning of the lodge); lots of service work. Last year we helped with the Re-Imagine 2.0 construction. We help clean up trash on the beaches, stack wood for Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl and general cleanup post-season, grounds clean up at North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club, and whatever else might come up. There are a significant number of community members that help us with our hunter safety unit at the gun club, including current and retired law enforcement, and veterans. We couldn’t make that unit happen with their help. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and the Grand Haven City Police Department have been long-time supporters, offering on-duty officers to assist when possible. 

What do you hope students gain from their time in your classroom?

My classroom is the outdoors. They create memories they will recall for a long time. Some of the activities we participate in include surfing, beach volleyball, canoeing, fishing, hunter safety, mini-farming unit including apple pressing/cider making, high ropes course/outdoor climbing wall and low ropes course at Camp Blodgett, teambuilding, disc golf, skiing and snowboarding with an all-day field trip to Cannonsburg, broomball, ice skating, hiking and enjoying the many parks that Ottawa County has to offer, skateboarding/scootering at the skate park.

How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future?

They will be exposed to activities they might not have ever tried before, and can continue to do throughout their lifetime. They are seeing places/parks they have never been to in our backyard. They are challenging themselves to try new things and realize they are capable of more than they knew.

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