I also forgot to mention that Bass Pro Shops provided nice backpacks, water bottles, and long-sleeve t-shirts for our camp. Thanks!
Day 5 we were back in the classroom. We went on a nature walk to collect artifacts and we made our own fossils. We spent that afternoon eating dirt cups and watching the movie Holes.
Day 6 we were outdoors again. We hiked a newly built trail and saw turtles, lizards, frogs, and birds. We learned how to rub paint off of rocks onto our faces. We learned how to tell the difference between a male and female turtle, The guide hid some everyday objects along the trail and asked students how many they counted. I counted like 2 and there were 10. And our hike ended on a lake with a beautiful lake.
After lunch we partnered up and...went canoeing. I was so incredibly terrified. I cannot swim and even though we were wearing life jackets I was very unsure. Luckily, the instructors put the two teachers together. Unluckily, they made us go first. I was in the front of the boat and once again, my third grade teacher was in the back. She stayed very calm and told me which way to paddle. After a while I started to enjoy it but students kept ramming into the side of our boats which terrified me again. We paddled over to the side and let the students race each other. One boat paddled out too far and the instructors had to 'chase' them down. Then it started to rain- and I hate getting wet. But we survived!
Day 7 was the madness of project based work. Twelve students all working on different projects and needing different amount of help at the same time- we had tri-fold poster boards, dioramas, powerpoints, and two crazy teachers! Of course we had tech problems and spills and messes, but we accomplished what we needed to.
Each student made two invitations to take home to someone they wanted to invite to our presentations.
This broke my heart.
My own lessons learned from this experience is that you have got to try to things you've never done before; and if you're scared, do it anyway!
I needed to be reminded that there are kids who still like learning and who have enthusiasm about school. I needed to build relationships with elementary teachers- we have a lot to learn from each other. I needed to meet some new kids and build relationships for the future. I needed to be pushed out of my comfort zone- I hate outdoors, hiking, sweating, dressing casual, etc. I needed a break from high school kids and high school math. I needed to remember how to do things when you feel scared or unsure. I needed to feel proud of myself for accomplishing hard things- whether or not they were hard to anyone else or not.
I just needed some WILD in my life. =)