Fremont Open Plan held its biennial Pioneer Day – a live-action version of the computer game “Oregon Trail” – on Thursday.
Students from Fremont Open Plan and neighboring Fremont Elementary were placed into “families” to re-enact traveling West in pursuit of gold and better lives.
“They will be traveling the Oregon Trail, stopping at trading posts, having to negotiate rivers, hunting, making decisions that will either lead to their families’ survival or demise,” Fremont Open Plan parent parent Ruhi Sheikh said in an email prior to the event. “The afternoon will culminate with square dancing, singing, having lunch pioneer style, down to drinking water from cans and carrying lunch in baskets and handkerchiefs hanging from sticks.”
Fourth- and fifth-graders dressed up as pioneers, some in clothing handed down from previous years and some handmade by parents, Sheikh said. “The students have been planning for weeks, studying about the pioneers, reading the novel ‘Patty Reed’s Doll’ and creating their own wooden dolls while writing an accompanying story, learning to square dance, in addition to many other pioneer projects.”
Pioneer Day was created by Open Plan teachers Dorene Arnold and Levi Hanzel-Sello, Sheikh said, but bringing it to life is a large undertaking that requires all the teachers and the help of dozens of parent volunteers.