Tammara Hoffman

Kent Mountain Adventures provides the sixth grade students at West Middle School in Cherry Creek School District with Team Quest, a unique start to the school year.  In early September each of the four sixth grade teams of 100+ students spends an entire day with Harry and his crew learning how cooperation, responsibility, and curiosity can combine to promote thinking, problem solving, sharing, and bonding within small groups of 10-12 students.  The low rope activities, including the spider web, the “toxic waste field”, and the “magic carpet” encourage kids to communicate with each other while challenging themselves on an individual basis.  One student commented, “I tried to lead and listened when other people had an idea.  Our team was very good at doing challenges that way.”  Another student shared her personal challenge, saying “What challenged me during Team Quest was being the smallest; for example, I had to hang on the rope the most because I was the smallest.”  Teachers also feel the benefits of Team Quest throughout the school year; it becomes a reference point in their classrooms for processing difficulties and successes.  “A real strength of this program is the having students improve their problem solving skills,” states one teacher.  “Responsibility was placed on the students to overcome interpersonal problems, and the course instructors provided helpful questions to debrief the experience.”  All in all, KMAC’s Team Quest presentations are an excellent orientation for our sixth grade students new to middle school.