PEAK mentors-scholar pairs learn teamwork, nature go hand-in-hand

Building strong bonds between mentors and scholars is one of our most important goals here at PEAK - and having fun is an important way to do that. So last month our PEAK scholars and their mentors got to spend a sunny, early-spring day out at the Cook County Forest Preserve’s Trailside Natural History Museum in River Forest on a spectacular photo scavenger hunt that helped them build both their team skills and powers of keen observation!

Using the museum and the surrounding Thatcher Woods site, mentors and scholars were challenged in teams to locate distinct landmarks and objects and take photos with them to prove their finds. The teams were made up of a mix of scholars from each of the four classes and their mentors, and everyone’s energy was…at peak!


“Every plant and animal in Cook County, live or mounted, for the education of the public” was meant to be on display at the famed old museum, which is housed inside an 1876 mansion. The building was also a former school before it became the Cook County Forest Preserve’s first public nature education facility in 1931.

Given the cold of the day, the museum also provided a welcome warming spot for mentors and scholars to talk between ventures into snow and Thatcher Woods.


The teams looked for plants and animals both inside and outside and took some fantastic selfies together along the way!


For about an hour, the teams searched for specific displays in the museum, examples of plants and sightings of animals outside. With each successful discovery, they took photos of themselves and their mentors to prove they’d ticked that item off their lists.


The team that logged the most points for finding their items will win a prize of their choice - either a movie day at Holy Trinity, an Amazon Goodie Bag or a Taco Tuesday party!


When the cheerful crews completed their searches, they hopped back on the bus and returned to Holy Trinity for some well-deserved pizza and to learn which mentor-scholar pairs had snared the most contributions to PEAK-a-thon – a prize won by Kevin and his mentors Ann Tenbursel and Dante Domenella.

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