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Echo Hill Trip Focuses on Environmental Science and Team Building
Posted 11/15/2016 02:12PM


Every fall, Barnesville seventh graders spend three days and two nights at Echo Hill Outdoor School on the Chesapeake Bay. The annual trip focuses on environmental science and team building.

Echo Hill’s campus of beaches, marshes, forests, and fields is described as follows: “The property is abundant with wildlife and provides ideal outdoor laboratories for ecological studies. The Outdoor School also owns 172 acres of ‘The Big Marsh’ which borders the campus. The Big Marsh is a freshwater shrub swamp protected by the Nature Conservancy.”  

Additional facilities include a barnyard with 3 goats, a recycling center, an organic garden, a Native American site, and a fleet of historic wooden Chesapeake work boats. Barnesville students attend classes and workshops about the relationships among the various ecosystems as well as the surrounding farms and businesses.

Middle School Social Studies Teacher Mr. Hart was especially charged with the group’s enthusiasm for the trip. “This year, the kids were really excited to get dirty working hands-on to create a shelter on the beach with a partner as part of their ‘survival’ class,” he said. “They also had the opportunity to feed goats, milk cows, kiss fish, and make fires. Canoeing in the swamp was a favorite activity along with holding a foot-long eel while on a workboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.”  

One student shared that her favorite activity was the night hike, “Because I learned a lot of new things about nocturnal animals, and our group really bonded.”

Middle School Science Teacher Mrs. Farah explained that in science, the seventh grade has been using the School’s new greenhouse to grow kale, spinach, and arugula from seedlings. They were able to see and taste these same greens straight out of the field when they visited an organic farm. The kale was a favorite!  

Barnesville School of Arts & Sciences is an independent private school in Montgomery County, Maryland offering innovative preschool through 8th grade programs. Cross-curricular teaching encourages students to explore how subjects relate to one another, helping them to make connections that spark inquiry and deepen understanding. Small classes enable skilled teachers to engage each child in an academically challenging environment. Our 50-acre campus is our extended classroom, and we integrate nature into everyday learning. Barnesville is certified as a Maryland Green School by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, demonstrating achievement in curriculum and instruction, community partnerships, and best management practices.

An independent private school in
Montgomery County, Maryland
offering innovative preschool
through 8th grade programs.

Barnesville School

21830 Peach Tree Road
PO Box 404
Barnesville, MD 20838

p: 301.972.0341
f: 301.972.4076


We offer a vigorous academic program for students as well as engaging, hands-on learning experiences.


Our positive, supportive learning environment promotes imagination, exploration, personal growth, and achievement.

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