As a teacher at a low-income school camp is an experience, I hold close to my heart. The ability to build upon knowledge that was gained in an authentic, hands-on way is such a powerful tool for a teacher. The only thing comparable is the gift of watching the bonds formed at camp foster a classroom community that functions as a family. A personal favorite of camp is the bus ride home. Not for the reasons you might assume. I love just to sit back and listen to the conversations on the bus ride home. From the silly cabin stories to the singing of campfire songs to the pride they take in their willingness to step out and try new things, “I can’t believe I touched a squid” “I shot an arrow and hit the target.”
This year was particularly eye opening when students were talking about cabins one student opened up about camp being the first time he had ever slept on a bed. For this particular student camp was a chance experience childhood. To sleep in a bed, eat family style, and participate in the same activities as his peers. The ability to attend camp was a gift to this student.
For each of my students, camp is a living memory. A memory that they will use a means to connect when they move onto middle school. A memory that they will excitedly share with their own fifth grader as they prepare to attend camp. I am so excited to say that the Russell Family Foundation Grant has allowed the tradition of attending Camp Seymour to once again be a part of our culture here at Arlington.