Fairview students jump into school (and the stream) with both feet

May 23, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

FAIRFIELD, Pa. - No pencils, calculators or textbooks at this school.

And the seats? Make them yourself.

While Outdoor School at Camp Eder provided plenty of fun and games this week, students in fifth grade also got serious and expanded their knowledge base 15 miles from their home school, Fairview Elementary School in Waynesboro, Pa. They examined the health of trees and streams, practiced rudimentary construction methods, and made cornbread on a fire.

"You have to do a lot of stuff in order to make cornbread," Sierra Robertson said, mentioning removing kernels from the cobs and grinding the kernels.

"You take milk, butter and salt, and you have to shake it for a long time," Courtney Baird said.

Students stayed awake late on their first day of camp "just being loud," Destiny Ridenour said. Cabin cleanup and waffles started the day Thursday.


Bobbi Blubaugh's class gathered in a circle outside for the stream study led by naturalist Eddy Rubin.

"Today, you guys are going to be the scientists," Rubin said. "You're going to test the water."

"Mr. Eddy" talked about how pollution can affect a large geographical area.

Students tried various methods of cleaning dirty water, then rolled up pant legs and took off socks to scramble into the 49-degree water.

"I fell in," Marleigh Chaney said. "I can't feel my feet."

"I can't wait until I can change my shoes, dry my clothes and cover up with a blanket," Mandy Huntsberry said.

Anna Swink and Lindsey Friese held hands as they crossed the stream, but Lindsey's fall took Anna along with her. They squealed and embraced for warmth on the bank.

"Did you catch anything? Was it worth it?" they were asked.

"No!!" they shouted.

"It's a long time until we can take showers," Lindsey said.

Those who did catch insects and salamanders displayed them on Rubin's "Bug TV," a system that magnified the creatures on a television screen.

"You get to see bugs on the TV, bugs that we found," Darien Fann said.

"Eww, it's looking at me," Gaylin Leizear said when holding her jar.

After lunch, students in Blubaugh's class moved to "pioneer skills" to learn about the lifestyles of early settlers. Volunteer instructor Mel Fleming talked about how furniture could not be brought across the Atlantic Ocean on ships.

"So what they brought with them were tools," Fleming said. "With the tools, they could pretty much make what they needed."

Fleming connected his bench-making tools with an earlier classroom lesson on simple machines. Students took turns making the seat and legs for a bench.

The best part of camp was "sleeping in cabins with other boys in our class," Adam Haden said.

"I also like being on the top bunk," Marshall Miller said. "It's really cool because there's a window."

"The stream was fun, except it was freezing," Cadi Robinson said. "I liked the tie-dye, too."

Zach Wolford enjoyed learning "about the stream, all the different kinds of animals in it."

Cadi said she would encourage other students to participate in Outdoor School, which spanned from Wednesday through today for the Fairview students.

"It's the funnest," she said. "They should beg their parents to let them go."

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