• High school PE class brings realistic training to students

    There’s a class at Bellefonte Area High School that takes physical education to a new level by exposing students to a variety of skills, tools and activities they can use in everyday life. The class, Back to Nature, is facilitated by health and phys. ed. teacher Josh Diehl, and meant to provide students with a different kind of recreational learning than traditional health and fitness activities.

    “Many students are not interested in traditional sports, and the outdoors provides a way for them to be active for a lifetime,” Diehl said. “Many of our students don't have the opportunity to learn skills like camping and fishing, and this is a way for them to learn how to do it properly and safely. Not only are the students learning skills and new recreational activities, they are also learning sustainability, conservation techniques and the importance of nature and living things.”

    The class started this year with 34 students from ninth through 12th grades who will learn skills such as orienteering by using a compass and GPS, fishing, knot tying, survival skills, plant identification, first aid and CPR, and rock-climbing.

    Anyone willing to contribute to the class may do so by contacting Diehl at The class will accept monetary donations to purchase equipment for archery, rock wall and fishing. Resources and other materials are also appreciated, as they will be a source for students to reference and learn from. Diehl is also looking for volunteers to be guest speakers to demonstrate expert advice in a particular area or topic to help give students lifelike experiences.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD