Pictured:

About two dozen Alice High School students are participating in a three-day ropes course and activities to learn about communication, teamwork and responsibility. The students' goal in the "All Aboard" activity was to get all of the 21 students on a three-by-four foot wooden platform.

Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

21 students taking part in AHS course

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Twenty-one students squeezed onto a three-by-four-foot wooden platform as the students hugged each other and stepped on each other's shoes to fit in the small space.

The activity demonstrates valuable skills to the students they will use during their lifetime, school officials said.

"What are some of the things you are going to face?" coach Tracy Zamora asked her students. "If you learn a valuable lesson, it is not to give up."

As part of the ropes course at Alice High School summer school, students are participating in a three-day outdoor activities program as a way to learn about communication, teamwork and responsibility.

The students' objective for the "All Aboard" activity was to get all of the students onto the wooden platform.

They talked about how they would bunch themselves together to fit on the platform. At first, they tried to get the stronger and bigger boys on the platform and tried to get the smaller-framed girls to squeeze in between and around, but the group ended up toppling off the platform.

In the second try, they had all of the girls in the middle and the boys worked on anchoring the outside of the platform, but ended up falling off the platform. It took three tries and a mixture of the bigger and smaller students to get all 21 students on the platform.

David Garcia, a senior, said the activity taught him to keep trying.

"Basically, it was trying to teach us not to give up because there's going to be obstacles…it makes you strive for more," David said. "It took a lot of work, but at the same time it was entertaining."

In a separate activity, coach Liza Almaraz placed bandanas with different designs in the middle of the students, who were sitting in a circle. Each student had to stand up and choose a bandana and say why they chose it.

The activity worked on communication and taking responsibility.

"You need to take one and you are going to be responsible for the bandana for three days," Almaraz told the students Monday. "When you come back to class tomorrow, it has to be worn somewhere on your body and it has to be visible."

Other activities performed by the students involved "raging waters," where each student was given a square gray foam to represent a stepping stone and the object of the activity was to cross the river by using the squares without touching the raging waters.

Miranda Bernal's said her experience with the activities was unlike anything she has done.

"It was something different," she said. "I haven't done anything like this before."