FISH CAMP – For the second year in a row, students of the Bass Lake Unified School District got the chance to attend a special field science camp at the Jack L. Boyd outdoor school, Camp Green Meadows.
The weather was chilly in late March, but hearts were warmed by the new alliances formed between kids, educators, and mother Earth.
The now-annual trip, for 6th-grade students at Wasuma Elementary and Oak Creek Intermediate, is a collaboration of the District schools, helpful parents, dedicated teachers and supportive community organizations, including the BLEF. Money raised from the trip comes from community groups, student families and scholarships by community members, along with copious fundraising.
BLUSD Board member Ronda Clarke went along on the trip as the official school nurse, and hopes to return again next year.
“One of the things I really loved about camp was the fact the kids had to collaborate with each other,” said Clarke.
“Many of them were not completely prepared for snow or being wet from the rain, even though they knew they were going to an outside school. The kids worked with one another and borrowed supplies from their cabin mates. Without the usual parental support to help facilitate it, they did it very well.”
Clarke says that the kids received special lessons in “Garbology,” which may explain all the photos kids took of eating in the mess hall.
“Garbology was cool! The kids had to only take what they thought they could eat. If they had leftovers that had to be thrown away, they had to measure and document it.”
The science-oriented field trip also attracted volunteers from Yosemite High School to help out. “Having the high school kids as mentors was such awesome sight to see: the high school kids stepped up to adult mentor role and the sixth graders seem to really thrive,” Clarke added.
76 students were on hand for the 4-day, 3-night trip, according to Claire Hayward at Camp Green Meadows. “It was wonderful to have schools from this area come up and enjoy our outdoor science school,” said Hayward, noting that local kids are somewhat of a scarcity at Camp, with students coming from around central California, and rarely from the foothills.
She hopes that will continue to change, and thinks the organizers behind the BLUSD trip are doing a great job getting kids to Green Meadows, and stresses the importance of doing so.
“They form friendships that last a lifetime, and it gives students the opportunity to see how the science and math they learn in the classroom applies to their everyday life in the outdoor world. It was awesome!”
The Bass Lake Education Foundation, in turn, appreciates the Bass Lake Unified School District, Peter Leinau, Colleen Lehigh and Ronda Clarke for “doing all the leg work this year,” said BLEF board Director Kriszti Mendonca. “Thank you to the parents and the community for their continued support.”
Click on photographs to enlarge. Photos courtesy of Ronda Clarke and the kids who used her camera!