By Liesl Schnibbe, Big Lake Youth Camp associate director
After a couple years without overnight field trips, Big Lake Youth Camp and the Oregon Conference education department once again partnered to put on sixth grade Outdoor School this month at Big Lake Youth Camp. Forty-five students from Cottage Grove, Livingstone Adventist Academy, Three Sisters Adventist Christian School, and Tualatin Valley Academy gathered at camp during October 10-13 for an unforgettable outdoor learning experience.
Different from summer camp at Big Lake, Outdoor School focuses on outdoor academic learning. This session, classes covered Water, Earth, Math in Nature, and Trees/Plants. Class teachers were Jennifer Youker (TVA), Sharon Cutz (LAA), Kim Cornette, Oregon Conference education superintendent, and Bethany Bradshaw, long-time seasonal BLYC staff. Daniel Ortega, Oregon Conference Pathfinder director and parent of a sixth grader, shared worship thoughts with the group, and David Candler, TSACS chaperone, brought his guitar and led music in the mornings and evenings.
Additional activities included an evening of astronomy and stargazing, BLYC classic Capture the Flag, a life-size game of Hungry Hippos, a salmon migration simulation, and an epic game of Life and Death in the Forest.
Some of the most significant takeaways for students were not only learning about God’s creation through firsthand contact with nature, but how quickly new friendships form, the strength we have when we stand together, and the impact that small acts of kindness can have on those around us.
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