Whether they recognized it or not, the sixth graders from Odenville Middle School learned earth science, history and vocabulary, subjects they may have thought they had left back in the classroom with their books. But they also learned much more from their school outing to Camp McDowell in Nauvoo. Their teachers said they learned both self-reliance and teamwork. They exercised their muscles and environmental stewardship. They reduced food waste and probably a little around their waists.
Odenville has sent its sixth graders to the camp since the 1980s to increase their awareness and understanding of environmental science, encourage responsibility for the environment, and foster cooperation and a community feeling. It seems to work.
“I love Camp McDowell,” said sixth-grade English teacher Pauline Anderson. “The experience fosters relationships in my class. I get to see the kids in a different environment, and it enhances our classroom experience when we come back. It builds community in our classroom and in our school.”
And if the kids have so much fun they don’t realize what they’re learning, who can fault them for that?