Project Adventure

            One of the highlights of every third-grade students’ year is participation in Project Adventure! Each third grader experiences the thrill and challenge of climbing on the high elements (that hang from the Joel gymnasium) that they have been intrigued about for years!

The Project Adventure philosophy is not only to have fun, but to also challenge students to go beyond their perceived boundaries, to work with others to solve problems and to experience success.  The adventure approach helps student realize self-confidence, develop leadership skills, discover the power of group cooperation and learn to view obstacles as opportunities for growth.

The Joel Project Adventure Program has grown to over fourteen indoor/outdoor high climbing elements and over ten low elements.  Each element requires a combination of balance, agility, coordination and commitment.  The height of these elements may begin one foot off the gym floor and proceed upward to the ceiling beams twenty-two feet away.  All of Joel’s third-grade students receive ten days of Project Adventure in small groups of seven to eleven students. 

Clinton’s students are fortunate to experience Project Adventure learning. Climbing courses are rare at the elementary school level and it is believed that the Joel School’s program is the only one of its’ kind for third-graders throughout the entire United States!   Joel’s program is over thirty years old! Back in 1983, former Physical Education teachers Lewis Andujar and Dan Hesford were looking for a way to incorporate more physical education learning during the lunch waves (when the gym doubled as the cafeteria).  They proposed the idea of building an outdoor ropes course to fill that timeframe.  Through widespread community support and a combination of funding from a state grant, the Clinton Board of Education, Clinton Park & Recreation, and Friends of Joel, an outdoor ropes course was constructed.  By the early 90’s The Lewin Joel School had extensive renovations done which included a state-of-the-art gymnasium.  With this expansion several high indoor climbing elements were installed.  As a result, an hour and half block of PA was incorporated into the daily Physical Education schedule.

Current and former students continue to rave about their experience in Project Adventure! The Joel School is proud to have the support of the Clinton community in supporting such a unique and exciting learning opportunity. The program takes place each school day from 11:45 – 12:45 from September through May.  Community members are always welcome to visit.


Click below to link to Project Adventure Photos from this current year:

Project Adventure Photo Gallery (Current Year)