Archive for the ‘Outdoor Education’ Category

Check Out The Spring Season Totals of Compost/Piggy Waste and Macroinvertebrates

The Camp Willson Staff would like to thank all of the Spring 2011 schools for coming and hanging out with us this past Spring. As we look forward to the Summer, we are looking back on some amazing memories with the groups coming for our first season of Outdoor Education this year. The totals for the dining hall challenge of COMPOST and PIGGY WASTE are up on the side bar (click on the Earth), and you can even check out all the Spring’s MACROINVERTEBRATE findings from Lake Mac-O-Chee during all the Aquatic Studies classes.

Hope everyone has a wonderful summer! Come back and see us again sometime soon, and remember… Happy Recycling everybody!

                            – Camp Willson Spring 2011 Outdoor Education Staff

Willis 6-1 ~ May 25th-27th

We finish up our journey here at Camp Willson with the final group of Willis Elementary students, and the results were the same as all the other groups… a success!  There were some well experienced teachers who have been coming to Camp Willson for many years who taught their students how to have a good time here.  The students got to explore and participate in many new adventures here at camp that they didn’t have the opportunity to in their hometown. 

They had a chance to see different reptiles and amphibians including our snake, salamanders and several different types of turtles.  One camper even kissed a toad with the thought that it may turn into a prince!  They also got to try some delicious campfire food at campfire cooking including cinnamon and sugar baked apples freshly popped popcorn. During the week we spent a lot of time outside exploring the nature of Camp Willson which includes going out on our 40 acre lake and testing out their rowing skills during boating and fishing class. It was an adventure this week going through the climbing wall, team challenge obstacles, and even the giant swing and zip line where they literally went to new heights.  They also got to listen to fantastic stories of Native American tribes of the Northwest, Ohio area.  These stories were told by Willis’s very own Mr. Carson, who has been coming to Camp Willson for a tremendous 35 years! 

In the evening they had a lot of fun dancing at Camp Willson with the famous square dance along with other popular dance styles including the cha cha slide, electric slide, and the YMCA.  Then the next night there was a fabulous campfire where the great crowd got to watch the very theatrical staff here at Camp Willson do hilarious skits and sing energetic songs.  Then later in the evening the campers got to do their own skits which were hilarious and well thought out. Some even made up their own original campfire skits.  The night ended with a hilarious song by the teachers of Willis explaining what they would do if they were not a teacher. 

The next day the students finished up at the early American crafts fair learning how to make candles, yarn and how to walk on stilts.  Finishing up the week with awards and deep thoughts, we conclude this year of Outdoor Education for the spring 2011.  It was a great group to finish up with and good preparation as we enter the exciting season of Summer Camp!  The staff here at Camp Willson would like to thank the school of Willis for coming and being such an outstanding group and we hope to see all of the campers again at Summer Camp!

Willis 6-4 ~ May 23rd-25th

Week two of Willis and we have a smaller group but you would barely know it by how active they were all week.  They had great weather during the day for most of the week making boating and fishing very enjoyable as they caught a plethora of fish (what is a plethora, El Guapo?).  They did not get to eat the fish however but they did not go hungry eating delicious, warm cinnamon apples and freshly popped popcorn in campfire cooking where they got to learn about how to make campfires specifically for cooking.  They also learned about themselves and their team at the climbing wall and team challenge where they were challenged by obstacles requiring them to work together and to learn about how to communicate.  Reptiles and amphibians was a new experience as well getting to touch and handle animals such as snakes, salamanders and leopard frogs in a way that most don’t have the opportunity to.  They got some educational experiences from their own teachers in Indian Lore learning about wonderful stories of the Simon Kenton and the Native American tribes in Northwestern Ohio. 

In the evening after dinner, we had a lot of crazy evening programming going on where we had so much fun that not even the rain could stop us.  They danced the night away the first night by learning how to square dance along with other trendy dances.  The next night we closed their trip with a campfire spending time singing and watch the staff here at Camp Willson perform a few of their well practiced skits.  Then later in the evening it was the campers turn to show some great skill with their acting ability. 

They had accomplished much at the end of the week as awards were handed out for various camp achievements. They also accomplished one of the most sacred awards by being the only school all season to have zero piggy waste for their entire stay, which is not wasting any food during the meal. The staff here at Camp Willson would like to thank the campers, teachers and counselors from Willis for coming out and having a great time.  We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Willis 6-3 ~ May 18th-20th

Willis 6-3 got to experience a drier side of Camp Willson during their visit, and still enjoyed an awesome time here at Camp Willson. They got to enjoy many traditions and experienced many opportunities we had to offer.

From climbing our rock wall to fishing and boating; from launching water rockets to learning about reptiles & amphibians; they learned about local Shawnee lore from a local legend of their own (Mr. Carson) and even worked as a team with our team challenge courses. These students were prescribed the perfect dose of camp.

During the evenings, the Willson staff had some awesome activities ready. The first night brought out a robot pirate leading the classic Camp Willson version of square dance. The high school chaperones definitely brought their A-game when it comes to being professional examples of the Virginia Reel. The second night was when the staff brought their silliness and vocal talents to the evening of campfire skits and songs. After the laughs came the hilarity, when the students introduced themselves as an alter-ego in their own cabin skits.

On their last day when everyone went to the Early American Crafts Fair, this group of students got to try out writing in calligraphy, playing a game called nine-man Morris, and cleaning and threading wool from our petting zoo’s own sheep that were sheared after the past winter.

The Willis crew will always be welcome here at Camp Willson, and will never be forgotten. We shared awesome experiences and created some pretty amazing memories. See you all down the road at summer camp or maybe as a chaperone when you get to high school.

Willis 6-2 ~ May 16th-18th

It was a rainy week for Willis Intermediate, but we all made it through and had a blast because, of course, what is camp without a couple of mud stains? The kids had a grand finish for their school year here at Camp Willson and we made sure they went out with a bang.

The students spent quality time launching off water rockets, worked together as one with our team challenge courses, pushed themselves on our rock climbing wall, had some relays in Metric Olympics, relaxed for a while through patient fishing, and finally square danced the night away at their evening program.

Here at Camp Willson, we teach our students to enjoy life and the nature that is around them. We teach them to have fun and to learn from each other as well as themselves. If we are able to show them our side of life, the camp life, we know we’ve shown them amazing experiences.

On their last night of evening activities, the Willson staff put on a few skits and sang a few songs of their own as an introduction to the main event, the Willis cabin skits, where there was some hilarious acting taking place.

Their last day at Willson was spent at the Early American Crafts Fair learning to make hand-dipped candles, rope belts, and even walk on stilts. The Willis 6th graders definitely took home with them many songs, sure to pop up in their minds in months to come. They had many good memories of camp and some even got to sign all four core value boards: Caring, Honest, Respect, and Responsibility. We look forward to seeing these students back in a few years as chaperones for the new crew of 6th graders.

Ben Logan ~ May 12th

A day group by the name of Ben Logan Elementary came to Camp Willson this week marching in with over 100 very excited campers ready to explore a taste of what Camp Willson has to offer.  They got to go to reptiles and amphibians and see a lot of critters that have been found here at Camp Willson and around Ohio such as a Garter Snake, American Toad, Gray Tree Frog, Painted and Box Turtles and a Striped Salamander.  They also got to learn how to protect themselves in a worst case scenario during survival class while learning the priorities that someone needs to know to survive and how long they can go without them.  Another opportunity they had was to learn some history and celebrate the life of the Shawnee Indians in Shawnee Celebration by playing games and pretending that they were the Shawnee tribe that used to rely on the land in and around Camp Willson before it become what it is today.  Finally they got to learn how to work together as a team in team challenge doing different obstacles with their group.  The staff here at Camp Willson would like to thank Ben Logan Elementary for coming and being a great and active group and we look forward to see you again next year!

Westgate ~ May 11th-13th

At the end of our camp week we had a great group coming from Columbus, Ohio. This bright group was from Westgate Elementary.  Being from the Columbus area, many of these young fourth and fifth graders never had an opportunity to come to a camp and go on hikes in the woods. They got to go down a zip line and even sized up a horse and ride it around the trails of camp. 

One of the experiences that they got to enjoy was going down the zip line, where some did get nervous by simply looking at the 30 foot tall zip line, but everyone found courage to go down it. Some described it as the closest they might get to flying.  The students also got to learn about different animals and what they need to do to survive in instincts. Just like real life, some lived, and some didn’t have the best day.  It was a great opportunity to learn about animals hands on through role playing as their favorite herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore.  They also got to spend a lot of time outside with great weather while going fishing, catching some hungry fish after a cold winter.  A lot of challenges were also presented to the campers through the climbing wall and team challenge where they got to challenge themselves to new heights… literally!  Also they got to challenge themselves as a team in team challenge by experiencing different ways of communication, leadership, and friendship by tossing around stuffed animals, using hoola hoops, and a couple blindfolds.  They also got to work as a team in unsolved mysteries by learning how to escape out of handcuffs, figure out the most complicated puzzle of their life, and defying gravity by hanging eight nails on two.  Other activities that they got to learn included orienteering, where they got the chance to use a map and compass to find their way around; a useful skill anywhere you go!  Then they got to go to the lake again, but this time they were hoping to catch a different creature by the name of benthic macroinvertebrates including leeches, snails, nymphs and crawdads.

Then in the evening, after a delicious dinner, they got to have some more fun by dancing the night away at square dancing and then showing off their fine fashion designing in newspaper pageant.  Also they got to burn off some energy at camp Willson’s world famous relay races by working together as a team going through the classic potato sack race, the baseball bat spin and a couple extra special races developed here at camp Willson.  Then to cool down at the end of the evening we had a warm fire to help us enjoy some hilarious campfires and sing some great songs. 

After belly full from lunch it was time to head back to Columbus, leaving Camp Willson with memories of new experiences, different challenges, and great laughs.  The staff here at Camp Willson would like to thank Westgate Elementary for coming and being such a fun and enjoyable group who was willing to be open minded to try new things and we look forward to seeing you again next year.