Patrick Henry Post: Special Edition

5th Grade Overnight Camping Field Trip, Nov 1-2, 2019

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Highlight on 5th Grade Overnight Camping

Last weekend, Patrick Henry fifth graders had a special opportunity to experience an outdoor adventure at Camp Manitowa in Illinois. Students left school midday on Friday, and didn't return to Patrick Henry until Saturday evening. All students got to experience the magic of hiking in the woods, canoeing on a lake, and eating delicious smores cooked on a warm campfire. They even got to stargaze without any city light pollution, and it was luckily a cloudless night sky!

When interviewed after their experiences, students named different things that were their favorite part:

"I've never been hiking in the woods before and I really loved jumping around on the rocks."

"The food was awesome!"

"It was really cold but it was really pretty out there!"

"I cannot believe I went on a canoe. I didn't think I would have liked something like that, but it turns out I loved it."

"We got to stay up SO LATE! And Dr. Rogers even brought extra Halloween candy with her!"

"Have you ever heard of foosball? I learned how to play this weekend and I'm so good!"

"I had fun with my friends."

"The canoe!!! The canoe, the canoe, the canoe!"

"There were two camp puppies there and they were so cute and fun!"

"I've never had a real life smore with a real life campfire. That was awesome."

"I thought I would miss my video game, but I really didn't care!"

"My parents were all nervous about me going away for the night, but I was like hey guys, I got this. And I really did!"

Staff members accompanied students along with the Gateway to the Great Outdoors (GGO) staff. Thank you so much to Ms. Williams, Mr. Farmer, Ms. Baumann, and Ms. Jones for taking their weekend time to come with us on this incredible adventure. Thank you to our GGO partners for making sure our students were prepared for this adventure, and for funding it! We had so much fun and cannot wait for our next outdoor adventure!

Camp Manitowa, Illinois

Located two hours away in Illinois, Camp Manitowa was an awesome camp with acres of woods to explore, a couple of friendly camp dogs, and a lake to explore by canoe! We ate fantastic food, including smores on a real campfire! We explored the starry sky by night and the creek beds by day. We learned that Dr. Rogers is a foosball champion, and possibly the most competitive person on the planet. We protected Ms. Williams as her fear of dogs caused her to squeal and run away several times. We created tie dye tshirts in the art shed. Most importantly, we explored the great outdoors and had FUN!

Hiking Camp Manitowa

Our partner organization, GGO, and the staff of Camp Manitowa took us immediately off the bus for our first adventure: hiking the camp grounds. Students got to run through the woods with camp dog Scarlet leading the pack. There were creek beds to explore, rocks to climb, and a lake to see at the perfect sunset moment!

A More Intense Hike...

On Saturday morning, we broke up into a boys' group and a girls' group to go on a much more intense hike. Students hiked for over an hour through a beautiful park with awesome rock formations, a snake hibernation pit, and gorgeous views all the way around. It was a fifteen minute bus ride, and it was worth every minute! Watching students explore the world around them and test their physical limits was incredibly rewarding for all of us on the hike. Our students were fearless!

Adventures in a Canoe

When we found out we were actually going to go canoeing and kayaking on a lake in November, we were a little worried. But it turns out our students weren't concerned one bit! Students were eager to try their hand at the canoe and the kayak. They took a jaunt around the lake and had to learn how to steer themselves back to the shore. They worked together and helped one another make sure they were safe and having an awesome time. Ms. Williams said this was the reason she wanted to come on this trip, and it was totally worth it!
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Thank you!

This trip was not possible without our community partner (GGO) and their volunteers, our own staff volunteers, our students, and our students' families. Thank you to everyone for creating such a unique opportunity for our students. And a final thank you to all of our remaining staff at Patrick Henry who kept the building running smoothly in our absence. We can't leave without a trusted staff taking care of things at home!