New SVSD Adventure Education Initiative Seeks Support

A new Adventure Education program has been approved for Saucon Valley schools.

Saucon Valley School District’s Department of Health and Physical Education is looking for community support to help fund an exciting new program that should be a hit with many students, K-12.

On March 27, the Saucon Valley School Board approved the addition of an Adventure Education program to the Physical Education curriculum. In addition to bringing a whole lot of fun to the students of Panther Nation, middle school physical education teacher David Jost said, “The program will enhance the overall well-being, self-esteem and leadership abilities of the participants.” Superintendent of Saucon Valley Schools, Dr. Craig Butler, agreed, and said he supports the program.

“Everyone I spoke with, to a person, had overwhelming comments about how this helped students, many students, come out of their shell. When they tackle the wall their self-esteem, their self-confidence and how they developed as a student just took on a whole new complexion. That excites me as an educator.”

Dr. Craig Butler (Superintendent of Saucon Valley schools)

The Adventure Education program comes at a cost of $10,000, which includes the wall and its installation as well as all other necessary hardware and materials. Initial training certifications for the Phys. Ed. staff are also included in the cost.

The installation and annual certification of the wall will be done by The Adventure Network, which is based in Chalfont, Pa. They are accredited by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). According to their website, The Adventure Network has been in this business for 15 years and has undergone an extensive review process. They are accredited to provide teacher certification trainings, course installation and inspections.

Additional expenditures for this new program were identified as certifications for any new, additional trainers and the annual recertification of the wall. All elements, equipment and hardware will need to be inspected every year at a cost of about $800. These recurring funds are to be taken out of the existing Health and Phys. Ed. budget.

Any angst about increasing insurance premiums for the district were put to rest by Butler.

“I contacted different schools who had such a program and the rate increases were negligible at best,” he said.

The Saucon Valley Foundation for Educational Innovation kick-started fundraising efforts for the wall with a generous $2,500 grant.

The SVSD Phys. Ed. department is, as Dr. Butler said, “at the helm” of raising the additional funds. It is with that mission in mind that the teachers (and students!) are appealing to potential donors in the community.

Your donation to this program will help fund:

  • a 30 foot high indoor rock-climbing wall
  • safety mats
  • belay ropes
  • 10 belay devices and harnesses
  • 8 carabiners
  • teacher certifications for safety and curriculum

Your support with a donation of any quantity will help the Department of Health and Physical Education achieve the dream.

As a show of appreciation, the names of donors will be publicized and presented on a “Recognition Wall.” Certainly, any requests by donors to remain anonymous will be honored as well. 

Individual Recognition Wall Donor Tiers

  1. Blue Mountain: Up to a $25 donation
  2. High Rocks: $26-$50
  3. Half Dome: $51-$100
  4. El Capitan: $101-$250 
  5. Everest: $251-$500 
  6. K2 Himalayas: $500+ 

If you or your business is interested in helping to sponsor Saucon Valley’s Adventure Education program initiative, please contact Dave Jost at [email protected] for more information.

SVSD Phys. Ed. and Health teacher, David Jost, playfully poses in front of the north wall of the Saucon Valley Middle School gymnasium. The future site of the District’s Adventure Education program.

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