Saturday, August 6, 2016

What if every kid got to go to summer camp … during the school year?

What if every kid got to go to summer camp … during the school year?:

What if every kid got to go to summer camp … during the school year?

Oregon could be the first state to fund “outdoor school” for all

Students and counselors play a game of “gaga ball,” a bit like dodge ball, before dinner at Crook County’s spring outdoor school at an old summer camp in the Deschutes National Forest. 
SCHUTES NATIONAL FOREST, Ore. — It was early evening in late May. Dinner was done and caper crews of students — “caper” is camp-speak for “chore” — had stacked the firewood into wheelbarrows, swept the dining hall floor, and (eew!) cleaned the bathrooms. The fading spring light slanted through the trees as the girls from Dogwood Cabin headed back to their bunks to practice their end-of-week skit.
“It’s not that bad,” a counselor the campers called Ivy told the 11- and 12-year-olds, nervous about their upcoming acting debuts. “I remember doing it when I went to camp. It’s actually fun.”
“Ivy” is really Kelsee Morgan, 16, a junior in high school. Like every girl in her tent, she attends school in Crook County, Oregon. And, like every girl in her tent, she went to this camp in May of her sixth grade year.
For many in the rural county, once home to loggers and now newly home to Facebook and Google server farms, this summer camp-like experience is one their parents couldn’t have afforded. About two thirds of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, a federal measure of poverty.
But here they are. They sleep in cabins named after trees — Aspen, Manzanita and Tamarack. They dip their water bottles in the crystal clear headwaters of Jack Creek — a mountain stream bubbling out of the earth in the shadow of a jagged volcanic peak called Three Fingered Jack. They wander the well-worn pine needle paths of this old Methodist summer camp in the midst of the sprawling Deschutes National Forest, arms linked at the elbows, baseball caps on What if every kid got to go to summer camp … during the school year?:

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