Students create boards and memories in Gone Boarding class


Surfing on Lake Michigan. Paddleboarding down the Grand River. Wakeboarding at Action Adventure Park. This does not sound like a typical classroom, but in Gone Boarding, the world is the classroom.

“There really are no typical days,” said senior Sarah Hubble. “Sometimes we’re outside; sometimes we’re inside.”

Gone Boarding is a unique two-hour block class at FHC. In this class, students have the opportunity to create their own board, such as a longboard, snowboard, paddleboard, surfboard, and more. While in the process of creating these boards, students also learn how to use these different boards.

This class often goes on trips to different areas to learn how to master these activities. For example, some days students may travel to the beach, Cannonsburg, a skate park, or anywhere their board takes them.

While in the woodshop, there is a wide range of experience present. Some students have no woodshop experience whatsoever, and some have been skilled in the trade for years. Senior Ashley Jenkins had no experience whatsoever but still was determined to take the class.

“The only part that’s a little frustrating is in the woodshop,” Ashley said. “It’s a long process to do a lot of this stuff. It’s really detailed.”

While it can be challenging, the instruction of teacher Robert Miedema helps beginners in the woodshop.

“Mr. Meidema really helps out,” Ashley said. “He makes it really easy and really fun for someone who’s never done it before.”

Aside from creating these boards, students get to take trips about once a week. This unorthodox teaching method is loved by many students.

“It’s really hands-on learning, which is really good,” Ashley said. “I love how it’s more active, and you get to go out and do stuff. In a normal class, you’re just sitting there and listening to a lecture. In this class, it’s really awesome how you get to go out and relieve stress.”

Sarah also loves how active the class is.

“You get to go out and experience things to learn instead of just sitting in a desk,” Sarah said.

While many of the students who take this class love it, there has been a slight decline in the popularity of the class. This year, there was a minor struggle to get the class to run.

“It was kind of heartbreaking because no one really signed up, and they weren’t going to run the class,” said junior Kayley Reynolds.

Due to the risk of the class being canceled, Sarah convinced Kayley to join. Even though Kayley is the only junior in the class, she believes taking Gone Boarding was a great decision.

“I love it,” Kayley said. “It’s something to do besides sit in a classroom.”

Due to the small class size, the 5th and 6th hour Gone Boarding block thinks their class is a “family,” as described by Sarah and Kayley.

“You make so many memories with people, especially [since it’s] senior year,” Sarah said. “It’s such a good way to end your year; it’s the best class I’ve ever taken.”

While the current students see the benefits of the class, Ashley is hoping more students will sign up for this class in the future.

“You’re learning and experiencing all these new things that you might never get the chance to do again,” Ashley said. “Why not just take the opportunity and get out there and take this class?”

Many students in Gone Boarding will remember it for years to come. While in the process of learning, they are making memories that will last a lifetime.

“You don’t have to be good at [sports or woodshop] to be in the class,” Sarah said. “It’s all about the experience and having fun.”