A very excited 5th grade crew braved the buses last week to travel to Camp Westwind, their home away from home for four days and three nights. Situated just north of Lincoln City, Camp Westwind is only accessible via ferry or a three mile hike. Our BSE mob was joined by Outdoor School (ODS) high school counselors, who flew in from Arizona to help guide and facilitate our students' week.
Students were able to explore a different field study each day, including the beach, the forest and the estuary (the area where the river meets the ocean). The trip was bursting with hands-on learning. Students dug for mole crabs, measured dissolved oxygen, caught ghost shrimp, and conquered multiple hikes to explore each ecosystem.
The week wasn't just about science education. Students enjoyed the full camp and community-building experience such as camp food, nightly campfires, quiet cabin downtime, and various team building exercises that culminated with some hysterical student skits on the final night.
Fifth grade teacher, Helen Chandler, raved over the benefits of the entire adventure. Chandler shared a special moment she experienced as her group reached the pinnacle of the forest hike and looked out over the ocean. One student was overheard saying, “This is the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life.”
“Giving our students the shared experience of outdoor school to build our year on -- both related to science and to building our 5th grade community -- is something that cannot be matched with any other activity,” Chandler added.
5th grade student, Jacob Langewisch, enjoyed the entire experience. "Watching the sunsets with my cabin mates was the most memorable," Langewisch declared.
Another BSE student, Cole Massar, felt that "being able to see the whole camp from our cabin vantage point" was the memory he'd most remember.
Outdoor School is funded through limited parent fees, a BSCO subsidy, and proceeds earned from the 5th grade annual Pancake Breakfast, scheduled for Saturday, November 14th. Mark your calendars and join the fun!