The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

By Staff
Of The New Era 

Outdoor School a chance to get dirty, hang out with big kids


May 24, 2016

STUDENT COUNSELOR Rebecca Wooley, center hangs with her Cherry Bombs teammates, Daniel Gibbs, 11, left, and Baylee Taylor, also 11.

The sunny weather lasted just long enough last week for Foster Elementary School students to wrap up their week of Outdoor School on May 19.

Camp Tadmor hosted the group of 87 fifth- and sixth-graders.

This was the second year of Outdoor School for Isaiah Wolfe, 12.

“You get a lot of activities,” he said. “It’s like camping. I like the hikes.”

With a variety of options concurrently available, kids got to experience activities in small groups.

At this camp they learned outdoor skills such as how to build a fire and how to make addle addle darts and throwing sticks. They also held the finals of the school Name That Capital competition, in which students named capitals of countries from around the world in a geography bee-type format.

After lunch Wednesday afternoon, first time attendees Baylee Taylor, 11, and Daniel Gibbs, 11, chose endeavors that were almost opposite. Baylee opted to go swimming. Daniel chose the mudpit.

During their down time the young campers got a chance to build relationships with their teachers and counselors.

Isaiah chatted with counselors Bethany Gingerich, 16, and Sierra Swanson, 17, during lunch on Wednesday.

He asked Swanson, a senior, what a “senior does.”

She conferred with Gingerich as she explained the correlation between the grade numbers and the terms freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

Then she let him try on her sunglasses and ham it up for a photo.

“The greatest thing is having former students participate as counselors,” said Pete Seveskie, who teaches sixth grade.

Of the 33 high school student counselors, 13 had attended Outdoor School themselves during their elementary years.

“When we first started out, parents volunteered,” said Cathy Hawken, who teaches fifth and sixth grade. “It’s great to get high school students involved.”

PARENT VOLUNTEER Gabe McCubbins, left, helps Kaden McLoud, 11, adjust his fishing tackle during Foster Outdoor School last week at Camp Tadmor.

The trio of teachers who brought their students have learned a lot about making outdoor school successful over the years.

“We learn something new every year,” said Angie Yon, who also teaches fifth and sixth grade.

Yon has been doing outdoor school for 19 or 20 years. Hawken and Saveskie have both been involved for 17 years.

It’s a family kind of situation, Saveskie said. “That’s what Foster is all about. We just take it on the road.”


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