Briarcliff Sixth Graders Explore the Woods on Fall Nature Hike

Briarcliff students enjoy the hike.

Living in Northern Westchester certainly has its perks; Briarcliff Middle School sixth graders recently went on a fall hike near the school as part of their hiking preparation lesson in physical education class.

According to physical education teacher Brendan Coxen, students do physical activities and apply them to the body.

“We check our heart rates and learn how to exercise certain muscles,” he said. “I am hoping the students will enjoy the hike and also learn something.” In the lesson, which began in the classroom, students were asked to imagine they were going on a long hike.

“What would you bring?” Mr. Coxen asked.

Everyone agreed on bringing water and Mr. Coxen pointed out that it is also important to “camel up” – drink before going hiking – to stay hydrated. Students also discussed checking the weather beforehand, bringing a first aid kit and paying attention to wild animals.

“It is also important to let people know you are hiking,” Mr. Coxen said. “If you are hiking and your phone battery is running low, change your voicemail and record a new voicemail that tells people where you are hiking and the date and time you will be back.”

Mr. Coxen also discussed the benefits of hiking. “Hiking not only increases physical activity – it can lower your blood pressure and decrease depression,” he said.

After the discussion, Mr. Coxen and the students went on a hike on the hill behind Briarcliff High School.

“This is a little bit of a steep hike,” he told the students, as they were walking on the hilly path, stepping on red and yellow leaves and looking at the worms that had come out after the morning’s rain.

“I go hiking with my family and my dog at Rockefeller Preserve in Sleepy Hollow,” said Samantha. “This is a really fun hike, too.”

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