Looking ahead at our guest groups leading up to the summer, I realized just how many schools have been calling us to reserve dates and meeting space for different events. This post will be about the different schools who are scheduled at Tall Timbers in April and May and about all the creative ways they use our facilities.
Lafargue Special Education Center is here locally in Alexandria. They have brought students in the spring off and on since 2010, and this year will bring an upper elementary group in addition to their junior high event. Lafargue’s students are a diverse mix of the the special education spectrum. Some are autistic, some have minor to moderate behavorial challenges, and some have physical handicaps. Their leader, Teresa Coplen, works with these students throughout the school year and incorporates many teambuilding and groupwork aspects into their curriculum. Lafargue’s day visit to Tall Timbers is a culmination of what they have accomplished during the school year. Last year, we started off with a teambuilding activity where students paired off and had to finish a set of challenges together. Then, we spent most of our time together on the high ropes course, where a majority of the group found they were more capable of exceeding the norm than they realized. Our staff is always reminded of the power of the high ropes course and the positive impact of encouraging words after working with Lafargue!
This May, we are excited to work with a new group of students from Evangeline Parish schools. These 12 boys are part of a group home in the school system in Ville Platte. Some have been adjudicated, or placed there by a court system, some have a history of being abused, and some have moderate to severe behavioral challenges. Their teacher’s objective is to incorporate activities that can help them work better together. Many of them have never experienced nature or anything outside of a city view before. We think that creative teambuilding activities designed for them will give them a new experience they won’t forget!
As high school seniors graduate, many schools have created activities through the night following their graduation in order to have a safe atmosphere to celebrate their accomplishments. In many ways, it keeps their students away from underage drinking and reckless events. In the past 5 or 6 years, we have had local high schools use our facility as one of their overnight secret destinations. We aren’t allowed to share what school is using us this year, but our new fireball bazooka ball event will be used, and these groups typically use our pavilion and game room while they are here. It is a 3 AM jolt to our recreation staff, but we are happy to offer our activities for such a unique event for high schoolers.
Finally, I am putting the spotlight on one of the schools closest to Tall Timbers. Caroline Dormon Jr. High will have their 4th field day with us this year. CDJH plans all sort of relay races and rotating activities for their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students on our field and pavilion. We lead bazooka ball as an activity for them, as well as one large group game with the entire group. Our local church, Calvary Woodworth, grills hamburgers and hot dogs for them here at lunch. Volleyball games, tug of war, and water relays are all a big part of their fun day with us, and we love being a part of the community.
Also, school groups typically hold day events here (I didn’t mention that we have hosted a state-wide FCCLA meeting, and regional Student Council and Youth Arts Council meetings), but we also have a few schools, usually private schools, who have overnight retreats for their students. One of them, St. Joseph Academy of Baton Rouge, has a retreat for their senior class, which is about 300 young ladies! Think about the events and special occasions at your school, and see if we can host or program your day!