Children working outside on project

Fegely Middle School students set to take on the 3 Dune Challenge

Over 120 Fegely Middle School 8th graders will take on the 3 Dune Challenge this spring, thanks to a grant from the National Park Trust.

Fegely Middle School physical education teacher Carrie Kietzman will be taking the students in two groups to complete the 1.5 mile 3 Dune Challenge trail in the Indiana Dunes National Park. While completing the challenge, students will be cleaning up any litter they see along the trail as well. 

Mrs. Kietzman had been looking for ways to challenge her P.E. students this year. In a classroom survey she administered at the start of the school year, the students expressed an interest in participating in activities other than running every day. She knew she would need to reach all of her P.E. students by presenting different and enjoyable opportunities to be physically active and fit.

When Mrs. Kietzman received word of the Kids to Parks Day School Grants Program through the National Park Trust, she immediately worked with a group of her interested students to apply.

“I feel like it was [the students’] help and their responses that helped us get the grant,” Kietzman said. “They have a part in this, too.” 

Following the students’ hike, which takes approximately one and a half hours, the students will enjoy lunch and visit the Indiana Dunes National Park Nature Center. Along the way, Mrs. Kietzman and her students will take photos with the National Park Trust’s official mascot, a plush toy named Buddy Bison.

Mrs. Kietzman said the students are excited to take on the challenge and for the feeling of accomplishment that will follow. She hopes that this field trip will help build their confidence and provide them with an opportunity to share this fun activity with their friends and family.

“It’s neat taking them on a hike and they think ‘oh my gosh, I had no idea this was close to me, and how gorgeous is this,’” Kietzman said. “So many of the kids have never been to the Dunes, even though it’s 5 to 10 minutes away.”

The trip is set to take place on April 11 and 12.