My name is Katherine Champion. I am a seventh-grader from Philomath, Oregon. I went to Outdoor School in sixth grade for one week at Camp Tadmor. I want to share a couple things with you about my Outdoor School experience and how it helped me build confidence and curiosity.
Before Outdoor School I was really nervous. I was so nervous I almost begged my parents to let me stay home. After much thought, though, I decided to go (mostly because I did not want to be the only sixth-grader in the school who didn’t go to Outdoor School! Also, I’ve heard lots of great things about Outdoor School even from my friends’ parents who grew up in Philomath!).
As it was drawing closer, we started to choose what field studies we wanted to do. Field studies are basically our classes at Outdoor School. This really interested me because I got to choose things that intrigued me and made me curious.
When the day finally arrived I was so excited. We loaded on the buses and were off. When we were finished with our first day I wanted to cry. I missed my family, and I wanted to go home. But then I made a promise to myself that I would stay to the end. And I’m glad that I did stay!
We had our field studies, and one of mine was sixth-grader vs. nature. In this field study, we learned about surviving in the wild. We walked around camp and found many edible plants to make our own salad. We even learned that you can eat the ends of cattails (they taste like a mixture of watermelon and cucumber).
I remember the summer after Outdoor School when my family and I went camping. While we were camping I saw some of the edible plants on a hike we took. I was able to tell my family all about these plants. Farther along we found some other plants. I wasn’t sure if they were edible so I looked it up. As I was doing this I realized that Outdoor School sparked my curiosity to find out more about nature.
This also applied to being in the classroom. I was more excited to learn about science because I had that curiosity. After seeing it first-hand, it made the lesson so much more interesting. I knew that these things we learned really exist. I love reading something and remembering Outdoor School.
When the week ended I didn’t want to leave. I loved my time at Outdoor School. In conclusion, Outdoor School helped me grow in two areas I was wasn’t expecting: Curiosity and confidence.