Yes, you read right! We camped at school! Actually, CAMPED, OVERNIGHT with 50 students!
When my colleague and I first approached our administer and asked if we could plan a campout at school, her initial response was: "You want to do WHAT?!" She quickly hopped on board and I can't thank her enough for, not only giving us the opportunity, but taking part and helping out as well. We are fortunate to have such a motivated and caring principal on our team. I don't think I have ever seen so many big toothy grins and it's all due to the amazing staff and parents who volunteered at this event. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to help make this a night to remember.
Here is a little run down on how the night played out. We asked the students to return to school at 6pm with all their camping gear. We began by playing Just Dance on the Smartboard and then had a nice hearty pasta dinner (courtesy of one of my student's mom). She cooked dinner for 75 people! She's a saint I tell you!
Once the kiddies were fed and ready for fun, we split them up into four groups of 12 and completed four 20 minute stations.
The first station was a camping craft.
The next station was all about baking! Baking a cake in a mug! A five minute process!
Messy and delicious! Just what the campers ordered!
Finally, the last two centers were related to physical activity. We had camp games in a classroom and free play outside. The kiddies loved every minute of it!
My favorite part was when we gathered into the gym and sang songs around the campfire! Our school custodian even played the guitar! It was so much fun!
We gave the students the choice of staying overnight or being picked up at 9pm. This gave some of our more anxious students and/or parents a chance to participate in the fun. At this point in the evening, we said goodbye to some friends and the kiddies who remained (about 48) did something they have been talking about for days!
They went outside into our school yard in the DARK!
All they needed were some flashlights and a little imagination! Apparently, there's a "ghost" living in the field behind the yard!
Finally, we had some s'mores and cuddled up in our sleeping bags for a movie!
The sleepyheads didn't actually SLEEP until about midnight! Too much excitement and giggles with their friends. It was definitely a night to remember and when I asked my munchkins to write about camping at school, I got the greatest responses. I quote my third graders when I say:
"Well, I speak for all of us when I say, that camping at school was a blast!" and "This was an experience I am sure to always remember." Seriously! They are 8!
I can't say I got ANY sleep that night and quite frankly I'm still trying to recover! However, I can honestly say that this was a great experience that I recommend to all and the smiles, oh the smiles, they made it worth every sleepless minute. We may just have to make this an annual tradition!
This week, we have been reading and writing all about camping with my Let's Go Camping Literacy Center, Printables, and Craftivity Pack.
Check it out and have some camping fun with your kiddies!
Until next time...