“Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to camp we go”
When it comes to camping, Bruce Hayes comes to mind.
That’s because Mr. Hayes, with about a quarter century of 6th grade camping experiences to his credit, is Pioneer Middle School’s Camping Guru.
He says that he attended camp for the first time when he was a 6th grade student at the school where he now teaches. He also was a counselor for two years while in high school.
As the 2006-07 school year winds down, Mr. Hayes has been focusing on finalizing details for the 2007 6th Grade Camp trip, a school district tradition.
This year he’ll be joined by seven teachers, 40 counselors (high school students) and 200 6th graders who will depart town on June 4 for a week at Camp Island Lake near Poulsbo.
Once there, they’ll focus on science-related studies and water-related activities-plus the traditional camping activities, such as the evening campfire.
Sixth Grade Camp is a highlight of the middle school experience for the district’s 6th grade students, Mr. Hayes explains. What he most enjoys is “to see a lot of kids go out and have fun, especially those who are shy, but who blossom” during camp.
“Kids who may be ‘trouble makers’ at school, always are really helpful” during the weeklong session, he adds.
In the meantime, youngsters taking part in the journey are double-checking their “must take” lists-an inventory that includes rain gear, swimming suits, school-type clothing, and a costume for skit night. In recent years photos from the camping event have been shown during the school’s 8th grade promotion ceremony; the sight of scenes from those good old days always draws laughter and tears from students who are moving onto 9th grade in the fall.
Cost for this year’s camping trip is $155 per student, Mr. Hayes adds. Recycling aluminum cans is just one way that the program offsets expenses.
Remember to donate empty aluminum cans at town pick-up points near Steilacoom Pub/Deli or at Pioneer Middle School. Phone Mr. Hayes at 983-2400 for more information.
Submitted by Nancy Covert