Home Outdoor education What Fits Our Schools: Silverdale Baptist Academy Outdoor Classroom

What Fits Our Schools: Silverdale Baptist Academy Outdoor Classroom


CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – Whether you’re growing a garden or developing a young mind, sunlight is an essential ingredient. Silverdale Baptist Academy tries to get students out as much as possible and not just for recess.

Al Rogers is the Director of Outdoor Education at the SBA.

He says, “The principal of the school here at Silverdale Baptist Academy several years ago had a vision to integrate outdoor education with the regular curriculum. In the past, outdoor education was apparently associated only with biology and science. Our job or our goal is to integrate outdoor education into all facets of academia.

Ethan Givens is a 7th year student at the SBA.

He said, “Well, I’m not the type to stay steel. I like to move and be active, so I like to be outdoors on the move.

Seventh grade student Charlie Leach adds, “I really love fishing. This camp is really interesting because it involves a lot of stakeholders to help me learn about rods, reels and lures. So that helps with the way they teach us.

Al Rogers explains it this way: “We believe that by learning by experience here, instead of sitting in a classroom reading, I just work on equations, we are doing something that will stay with the kids. Like taking a class in our stream, putting a basketball in the stream, timing it from point a to point b. Measure the distance and put it into an equation, then you can formulate the speed.

Abigail Greene is an 8th grader at the SBA.

She says, “I’ve always been more like a ‘tomboy’ and I like being outside more than inside because I love nature and I have cows.”

Chase Turner is a former student and semi-professional fly fisherman.

He said, “After I was in class inside the classroom, it was just a good breath of fresh air to get out. And I think of the students, especially at a young age, who go out, watch and learn outdoors; it is such a great fundamental peace. And it will be a passion that will last a lifetime for them.

Al concludes, “My job at Silverdale is to help teachers make more use of the outdoors and their daily routines. It’s just amazing the opportunities. It’s just that we have to get out of our comfort zone. And that’s kind of one of the things we’re thinking about here. We say: “think outside, forget the box”.