Survival Day is an experience created in an effort to provide students with hands-on learning experiences based in William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies. The students spent three hours outside rotating through a variety of lessons  from a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts who share their passion for all that nature has to offer.

Posted: October, 31, 2017 - 12:40pm

Survival Day 2017

Survival Day is an experience that one of our veteran English teachers, Mr. Bryan Plinske, created in an effort to provide students with hands-on learning experiences based in William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies. During Survival Day, students relate what they have read in the book to real life through various activities. The students spent three hours outside rotating through a variety of lessons from a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts who share their passion for all that nature has to offer.

As teams of 20 students rotated through stations, they were challenged to perform different tasks using non-traditional means. Our faculty-led stations showcased inter-departmental talents who shared their expertise in fire making, archery, signaling, and team building. Mr. Paul Cook, English teacher, showed students how to create fire without the use of matches while Mr. Ray Gialo, Physical Education teacher, shared his expertise and guided students on the archery range. Mr. Dave Auston and Mr. Paul Strzyinski, both Science teachers, taught students how to signal for help using household items and those found in nature. Mr. Brian Phelan, Math teacher, led students through highly interactive team building exercises that students are still talking about two weeks later. Collectively, English and Math department team members led groups of students through the rotations and participated in the presentations as well.

Various community members also participated in the fun, creating relevant connections for students. Firefighter and Paramedic Edward Kofoed of the Lake Villa Fire Department came out to teach students about first aid in the field and how to stay hydrated in dire conditions. Officer Collin Vaughn of the Department of Natural Resources shared his experiences trapping, hunting, and fishing in local areas and showed students the benefits of learning these skills. SSGT Matthew Pirrello of the Round Lake Beach Army Recruiting Center built various types of shelters and taught the students about how to battle the elements in extreme conditions. A student favorite was the non-profit organization, Pheasants Forever, who built bird blinds and brought their retriever dogs to put on an amazing display of obedience training while teaching students about the benefits of conservation. The end of the event was a nod to Lord of the Flies and capped with a pig roast where all students and staff enjoyed some delicious BBQ from the Crystal Lake Rib House after a full day of activity.

What was truly outstanding about Survival Day was the enthusiasm and organization with which our faculty approached and embraced the day. In the English Department, many people pulled together to contact organizations and to secure presentations that would be relevant and educationally sound for our students. Teachers created excitement for the day by talking with students about the activities and made connections to class analysis of the text of Lord of the Flies. Lakes is very proud to have teachers who want to create relevant, hands-on learning opportunities for our students.

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