Boston School Forest holds Polar Pond Plunge
By Taylor J. Hale
Special to the Gazette
PLOVER — Uproarious laughs and screams flooded the Boston School Forest’s Polar Pond Plunge on Dec. 15, as donators dived, flopped and plummeted into the frigid waters of the school’s pond to raise money for a future 3-in-1 high-ropes course in Stevens Point.
The new development would replace the current 15-year old set-up, and offer children with less upper body strength and flexibility a chance to interact with the course. The school is also examining handicap accessible
“The idea is to get the kids up high to see the forest from a view only the birds and squirrels can get,” said Karla Lockman, plunge event creator. “It lets them experience it all from a new perspective.”
The plunge event is one of the various programs the school is utilizing to foster funds for its high-ropes project. Jumpers could dive in the icy waters for $10, but many donated much more to support the school’s aims.
“We will be getting an estimated several thousand dollars from the plunge,” Lockman explained. “But have a goal of $20,000 by the end of the year to complete the course.”
The chilly fundraiser started a year ago when a Stevens Point Area Senior High student came to the educational center for a field trip and asked his friend to jump in the frozen pond, jokingly, of course. Lockman said no, but the occasion sparked her interest in a polar plunge event. She then took her idea to the district and was met with ardent support.
“It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but everyone loved it so much, we are back for a second year,” Lockman said.
Some of the brave jumpers are already acquiring an eccentric reputation for their belly flops and= soaking wet snow angels. One of the notorious participants is Mike Felts, Madison Elementary physical education teacher. This year he wore full face paint and splashed into the freezing tundra-like water as
the crowd audibly expanded into a frenzy.
“Everyone loves to watch Mike and all of the divers,” Lockman said. “It is a blast to see everyone go in.”
The Boston School Forest is well on its way to meeting its financial goal. Their new high-ropes course would be built into the gorgeous 80-year old pine trees and give the youth a new panorama of the area’s forested landscapes. Lockman and others are excited about the planned addition.
To find out more about the Boston School Forest and the programs they offer to students check out https://www.pointschools.net/BostonSchoolForest.