By Sarah Rowlette
The entire fourth-grade class from Model Laboratory School, loaded a bus on Thursday, April 11, to attend Environmental Camp in London at the Feltner 4-H Camp.
The students, their teachers and some parents stayed overnight at the camp and had a fun-filled, educational two-day camping experience.
During Environmental Camp, students participated in a variety of classes and activities. Some of these included canoeing, archery, water study, taking a nature hike, dissecting owl pellets, low ropes team building and a “Birds and Beaks” class.
“I loved canoeing. It was so much fun!” said Mary Alex Taylor, a fourth grade student.
In the Birds and Beaks class, students learned about different birds and what kinds of foods their beaks allow them to eat.
At the end of the class, each student had a different type of bird. Using a tool designed like their bird’s beak, the students put the foods in their mix that they could pick up with their “beak.” Some of the trail mix ingredients included sunflower seeds, raisins, marshmallows, gummy worms, chocolate chips and more.
When dissecting owl pellets, students learned about owls and the things they eat. Some of the things students found in their owl pellets were rat skulls, ribs and jaw bones.
Each student had a different favorite part of Environmental Camp when asked.
“In Water Study, we learned that it’s dragonfly larva season right now,” said McKenna Tuttle, a fourth-grade student. “We caught frog eggs and studied them, and we got to get really dirty!”
Many fourth graders got to try something they’d never done before.
“I’ve never gotten to shoot archery before and I learned how to shoot a bow,” said student Lexi Daniel. “It never hit the target, but I still had fun!”
There was a buzz around the camp about the fun and challenging time they had when participating in the low ropes course. It is designed for teambuilding and learning leadership skills.
“You had to trust your teammates to help you across and to stay on the ropes to make it to the next one because they can slip quickly,” said fourth-grader Morgan Barnes.
Each student left Environmental Camp with knowledge about nature and the environment that they did not have when they arrived. Students were also able to learn leadership skills and work as a team.
“Environmental Camp is a really nice camp for kids because it lets them be outdoors,” said fourth-grader Jasmine Rutherford. “You’ve got nature being the classroom for kids to learn so much; we’ve had a blast!”
The time spent at Environmental Camp is for many students, unlike anything they’ve ever experienced and it helps them get a better understanding of the things they are learning in the classroom.
“The classroom is great, but the outdoors, hands-on application is when the lesson sticks” Kay Funk, parent of a student, said.
If your child is interested in Environmental Camp and would like to learn more, please contact the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service at 623-4072.
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.