Where would “Bogonia,” “Breezy,” “Bumble Bug,” and “Lady Bee” all be commonly used names? Only at Cascade Junior. High Outdoor School, located at Camp Tadmor.
Last week 12 Corban students joined 15 other counselors to volunteer at Outdoor School. From April 9 – April 13, sixth graders attended the camp to learn about how to live in the unpredictable Oregon wilderness.
Each day, campers participated in morning and afternoon field studies, which included First Aid, camp skills, forest, meadow, stream, pond, and survival. Corban senior Ashley Cowan, who worked as a camp counselor for the week, helped out with the First Aid field study.
“It was a great experience for the sixth graders to learn about First Aid because they typically don’t learn these things until eight grade health class,” said Cowan.
The leaders of Outdoor School instigated various rules for the campers to follow during their time at Tadmor. They attended “Morning and Evening Colors,” which was the raising of the flag at 8:30 a.m. and p.m., and taking it down after dinner. Other rules included no running, lights out by 9:30 p.m., and a wide range of table manner etiquette.
Cowan was surprised by the harshness of the rules in the beginning. “Although the rules seemed over the top at first, they really kept the kids in line and made sure everyone was safe,” she said.
Even though Outdoor School was a strict and work-intensive environment, the kids still enjoyed themselves, especially during recreational time and songs around the campfire. The campers signed up for activities every day, and participated in horseshoes, volleyball, geocaching, and arts and crafts. At the end of each day, the students and counselors gathered around the campfire to sing songs and act out skits.
Corban student Amber Kliewer, a camp skills resource counselor, taught students how to build fires, tie knots, and set up tents. Klewier particularly enjoyed the campfire atmosphere. “The campfire was a lot of fun,” Kliewer said. “The kids really got into it and laughed during the skits. The songs were really catchy; they’ve been stuck in my head for the last couple of days. No matter what I do, I can’t get them out!”
Throughout the week, the counselors grew close to the eight or nine students in their cabins. Corban student Ariana Lujano, another counselor, valued her week with the kids.
“There were definitely challenges, but I have to say the best thing about it was the kids,” Lujano said. “They cling to their counselors and love them like family. Overall it was an amazing experience.