ACS Invites you to Enjoy the Fruits of their Labor
There’s an outdoor gem in Ada open not just to the students it serves, but to anyone who wants a peaceful place to learn, reflect, or simply enjoy beauty.
Ada Christian School’s Outdoor Education campus is open to the community each summer, as well as after school hours during other seasons.
Located on 37 acres of diverse terrain, visitors can enjoy the gardens and structures built and maintained by ACS’s students, families, and teachers. Each area of the campus is well thought out and invites the visitor to consider creation and appreciate nature.
Children’s Curiosity Comes to Life on this Ever Evolving Campus
ACS Principal Melissa Brower said the Outdoor Education program was created by teachers who recognized that children’s curiosity opens them to learning with all of their senses, allowing them to learn lessons that last.
“Kids are so curious,” says Melissa. “How do you … tap into that? You tap into all their senses.”
Students played a large role in building the campus, which is a work in progress. And they are proud of their work.
Each grade level has Outdoor Education integrated into each school subject. During the school year, students tend to the gardens during their breaks and recesses, and families help maintain 30 raised beds, a greenhouse, and a hoop house that holds various growing things year-round.
A campus favorite is the barn which houses dozens of chickens and several goats. Brower said the children witnessed the birth of three goats this past spring, and they also care for the chickens and collect their eggs.
Each Section has Spritual Significance for Visitors
The campus uses themes from the Bible and from John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.” The mountain theme is reflected in their mountain of earth, plants, and large stepping stones, which when climbed reveals a flat space large enough to hold a classroom.
“In Scripture, so many things happened on a mountain,” says Melissa.
“Our mountain is rugged and a little hard to climb. This is significant. Up here, we talk about the struggles and how climbing is hard work, but it pays off. We get to see things that you never would have seen had you not made this climb.”
Some of the projects in progress are an Indian village, pioneer house, and an archeological dig site modeled after ancient Jerusalem.
Experience a Peaceful Haven Created by Thoughtful Caretakers
“I don’t ever see this as being completed or done. It will keep evolving with kids and time and opportunities,” Melissa says..
Members of the community can be involved through ACS’s summer programs, or can simply enjoy exploring the campus. Brower said the community is welcome and an important part of ACS.
“Here we educate the whole child. We can’t do this on our own. We are caretakers of the land and of each other. We all have different ways to show what we’ve learned and ways to engage with the things around us.”