On October 26th, Monmouth Middle School left with 60 seventh graders and three teachers, for a week in the great outdoors in Bryant Pond. We went to a place called The Maine Conservation School Camp, where we were introduced to a variety of outdoor fun, environmental education and practical outdoor skills.

We learned a lot about our great outdoors and had fun with it. When we first got there we were glad, because it was a long bus ride, and I mean long!!! No, not that long, it just seems like it. We were introduced to the camp councilors and the camp. Once we were comfortable with the surroundings, we were separated into groups. Each day we got to do a variety of different things. As an example, our day usually started with a morning meeting, letting us know what the plans for the day were. Then we had breakfast, which wasn’t that bad. We could even go back for more. A lot of kids did! Then we broke up into our groups.

What I did next was map and compass. This was interesting, because you get to learn about your surroundings more. It seemed like I paid more attention to what was around me. And how to not get lost!!! Then we learned aboutfirearm safety, which was ok, until we actually got to handle them and leam how to fire them. We all took this serious. I had fun, even though I missed the target. I was told I needed to just relax more and breathe slower, but didn’t do too bad for my first time handling a gun, and hitting the outside of the paper.

Next we had lunch together. After lunch we got to work on our journals, writing what we had learned that day. Next, we learned how to go fishing. It was boring at first, but interesting in how to make a lure to catch a fish. We played a game with who could catch the most fish, with a tin can and fishing line. I did pretty good. Next we did water safety/quality and kayaking. That was fun. I really enjoyed being out there in the water. Paddling in the water seemed so peaceful.

Next we had dinner. Again some of us kids decided to go back for more, only because it had been a long day. Next we had hunter safety. You can never be too safe. Making sure that we all took precaution in everything we do. We even saw a movie on how to shoot a deer and then skin it. It was kind of interesting to some, but the graphics were a bit much for some of the girls.

The last thing we did was snack time and then to the dorms for the night. Usually most of us went to sleep quickly, knowing that we had to get up early the next morning. Some of us, and I mean just a few, would go running in the morning. That was just a few of the things we did. There was Fire and Shelter, Hunter Safety and Gun Handling, Map and Compass, Water Quality, Range, Wilderness Challenge, skits-on everything that we learned. Now that was interesting. We also did a lot of hands on activities like archery, firing range, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and a mountain hike.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot-Low Ropes. This was a lot of fun. We participated in what I call team building experiences. We had to all work together in order to finish the task. For example, there was a tarzan rope in the middle of this area and we had to get from one side to the other without stepping onto the ground. Now this was a challenge, cause you really had to work together. It ended up taking us a while, because we had to work out our differences. There were many tasks that we had to over come, but we made it in the long run. In overall the experience here was educational, but it was full of everlasting fun.

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