6th Grade Outdoor Education

  • 6th Grade Outdoor Education
    "Camp Canadensis"

    Outdoor Education is an approach to more efficient and effective learning. The primary purpose of Outdoor Education is to enrich, vitalize, and complement content areas of our school curriculum by means of firsthand observation and direct experience outside the classroom. Extending the classroom into the outdoors provides the setting for bringing deeper insight, greater understanding, and more meaning to those areas of knowledge, which ordinarily are merely read and discussed.

    There is no more highly stimulating setting than the “outdoor classroom." This classroom is equipped with expandable walls that extend as far as the child’s legs want to carry them, and the floor varies from spot to spot…sometimes rocks, sometimes water, and often forest floors. Its ceiling, too, is varied with ever changing cloud shapes. No schoolroom ever had the books, maps, or charts to rival the vividness of the real world. 

    The trip also aids in creating a bond and sense of community among the students. Here, all children interact; there are no cliques. This sense of community will go with the children as they continue their educational years.

    The 2021-22 school year will mark the 55th Outdoor Education trip provided for the sixth grade students of the Camp Hill School District. We, who are associated with the trip in any way, are extremely proud of the success the program has enjoyed over all these years. We look forward with enthusiasm to providing the same enriching experience to the members of the present sixth grade class. 


    Frequently Asked Questions


                    Q.    How much does this trip cost the parent?

            A.  The trip itself is funded through fund-raising efforts, donations, and the district’s contribution.  Therefore, the trip is free. A free sweatshirt for the children is also included.  No money is to be taken on the trip.

    Q.   How many adults go on the trip?

           A.   This year’s staff will be composed of approximately 58 adults which would give us a ratio of one adult for each 2 children.

    Q.   How are new members of the staff selected?

            A.   At the beginning of each new school year an email is sent to all former staff members inviting them to return.  After the responses are received by the coordinator, the number of vacancies, along with the areas of expertise needed is determined. New people from a list of volunteers are then invited to join us.  The important thing to remember is that new people are invited on the basis of our need in given areas.  If you feel that you do not have any specific area of expertise, don’t hesitate to volunteer.  Often the need is simply for general assistants in various activities. 

    Q.   How may I become a member of this year’s staff and is there a commitment for more than one year?

            A.  To show your interest in volunteering please email the director, Chad Gallaher at cgallaher@camphillsd.k12.pa.us   Because of the training involved and the fact that it takes at least two or three years for a person to really feel at ease in understanding the complete routine, it is expected that a staff member make a commitment of at least three years.

    Q.   Why is it necessary to take so many returning staff members when perhaps more parents from this year’s class would like to go?

             A.  This question was really answered above in the statement that said it takes two or three years for a person to completely understand the routine and the various activities.  We definitely need a core of well- experienced people in order to ensure that all runs smoothly.  Thus, we are ensuring that your children receive as much from this unique experience as is possible.

    Q.   What method of transportation is used?

            A.  We take two - three coach buses. 

    Q.   How are cabin groups determined and how many are in a cabin?

            A.   The children choose the three people they would most like to be with.  A sociogram is then done to determine the best grouping.  It is important to understand that all cabins must be filled and that all children must be placed in a cabin.  Therefore, your child may be in a cabin with some people who are not necessarily his/her best friends.  At least one of the choices is promised, and most receive two or three.  One of the primary goals of this trip is to assist the children in gaining a better understanding of the differences existing among all individuals and a tolerance for these differences.  While cabin groups always seem of the utmost importance to the children, there really is very little time spent in the cabins at camp.  There are 6 - 11 students and 3-4 adults per cabin.

    Q.   How are the activities for each child determined?

            A.  The children are asked to list their top 20 choices in the order of preference.  From these lists the individual schedules are done.  Every effort is made to give each child his/her first ten choices.   No child is ever placed in the climbing wall, water activities, or amphibians and reptiles without having chosen them.  Any of the other activities may appear on the schedule.

    Since the schedules are done individually, no two are alike.

    Q.   How many are in each class?

            A.   The groups usually range from five to twelve students.  The exceptions to this would be the athletic type activities such as field hockey where more are needed to play the game and those conducted by the Canadensis camp staff such as the climbing wall.  There is always two - three adults assigned to each class and in those having more than eight students, additional adults are assigned according to the number of students.

    Q.   Do the students have “down time”?

            A.  No, they do not.  All schedules are completed well in advance of the trip with all activity periods and evening activities assigned.  There is one period on Monday and Tuesday which is listed as a recreation period.  This is the only time the children will have an on-the-spot decision.  They are given a list of several recreational type activities from which they are to make a choice of one.  There are, of course, adults assigned to each group.  The children are also assigned to different tables for each meal, usually never eating with the same person twice.  Everything is scheduled!

    Q.   What if my child tires out since the days are so long?

            A.   One of the responsibilities of all staff members is to be alert to the children’s

    rest needs.  If one sees that a child appears to be in need of a rest, it is reported.  The child is then given time for a nap or to at least lie down for a while.  We also insist that all children settle in when Taps are played with no talking so they will drift off to sleep more easily.

    Q.   What if my questions were not answered within this handout?


            A.   You may call the director Chad Gallaher at 901-2400xt. 2543 or preferably email:  Chad Gallaher at cgallaher@camphillsd.k12.pa.us