I got to be a chaperone for Nadine’s class field trip to ‘the Farm’ where they have a 12 acre corn maze map of Washington State. It was pouring rain, but we had so much fun. Plus it was a very interesting perspective on the social dynamics of nine-year-olds.
I got a great group of four girls including Nadine. They had to enter the maze with a map of the state highways, with certain destinations highlighted, like Walla Wall, the Grand Coulee Dam, and the Space Needle, then navigate through the corn maze, find the destinations, and finally find their way out. We had an hour and half to do it, and I was not allowed to help. My job was to keep them together and not lose anyone. Not an easy job, but a lot harder had I been given a group of boys.
What was interesting to me, was that these girls were very good at reading the map and collaborating, they just didn’t have a very good sense of north vs. south, east vs. west. If they saw a sign for ‘Highway 12′, they just took off running, and didn’t consider which direction to go. So we got really really lost. And I did have to help. But not too much – just making them consider which direction to go.
The boys though…wow. They all wanted to be in charge of the map, or took off running in different directions, and some were yanking off ears of corn and chucking them in the air. So I made a mental note not to chaperone this field trip when it’s Miles turn to go in a couple of years.
We didn’t find all of our destinations, but we did find our way out of the maze on time, and I consider that a success in itself. It was a great learning experience and such a fun adventure.