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 Week of Nature: Archery, Mountain Climbing, and Independence

A group of 15 fourth- and fifth-graders will get scholarships to attend Cuyamaca Outdoor School next year because of their creative and well-written essays about positive experience they've had outdoors and what they hope to learn at the school.

To celebrate nature, outdoor education and these creative students, we're going to feature three of their essays each day this week. Here are the final three:

Christopher Warner
Foussat Elementary
Oceanside Union School District

The biggest reason why I'm excited is that this will be my first time going to camp.  My parents and I have been waiting for me to go to camp since I turned nine.  I watched a video about the camp that made me even MORE excited.  I'm excited to shoot bows and arrows for the first time, do wood carving, rock climbing and finally, hiking.  I'm also excited about doing science because it's my favorite subject.

When I go to camp, I expect to learn a lot more about nature and science.  I think that we will learn through rock climbing, wood carving and mostly by hiking.  I also expect to go swimming, to shoot bows and arrows and to go geo-caching.  I believe we will study geology too.

I think that camp will make me more self-confident so I will worry less when I have a project or a super hard quiz.  It might give me more social skills so I can make more friends.  It probably will stop making me procrastinate.  Finally, it will make me better in school because it might make me have more self-control so I won't mess around as much.

I believe that after learning more about nature and plants that I would start to plant more things like succulents or other native plants that can thrive without much water to make the place look better, like at the park, school or even at my house.  I could possibly clean up public places too.


Sofia Contreras
Reynolds Elementary
Oceanside Union School District

I'm almost in 5th grade and you know what that means, Camp is Close!

I am sooooo excited to go there because Mr. Turner had said they have challenges, trails to walk on, and most exciting is the wildlife around us.  Mr. Turner also has shown us some pictures of what we'll do, like mountain climb.

When I go there I hope to see lots of different kinds of animal species.  I also am probably going to see some snakes.  I really want to see where some of the animals live.

The animals there live in a different place but beyond that place I hope to see lots of plants, trees and bushes.  Maybe some of the bushes have edible berries on them that we can pick and eat. 

Camp will change how brave I can be because of the challenges I will face such as rock climbing, going up on tall canyons without being scared and other things.

When I come back from camp I hope to take what I learned to my house, because being creative is a very important part about being a child.  So this is what I thought, they'll show us how to use parts of wildlife like twigs, bark and leaves to create something.  So with all that information I could use twigs from outside my own front door, rocks from the side of my yard and if I'm careful I could collect glass from on the sidewalk and create something with these instead of paper and crayons.

I hope to have a great time at camp.  And I hope to see and learn everything I want to.  It will be awesome.  I hope to go there soon.  I can't hold in all the excitement for long.  I can't wait.


Alexandria Fennell
Torrey Hills
Del Mar Union School District

I stepped off the school bus, excitement fizzing up inside of me.  Other sixth graders gathered in the camp, talking and laughing merrily.  I looked around thinking of all the fun things I could do.  I'm ecstatic to go to camp and be truly independent.  It will be a new experience for me!  I will finally be able to check camping off my bucket list.  Cuyamaca Outdoor School sounds fun and interesting.  I can already feel nature's breath touching me, and the arms of the trees reaching towards the sky.  I simply can't wait!

Birds singing in the trees, deer swiftly running away from the small noises that scare them, the sound of footsteps crunching on the rocks, it's all so wild.  I expect to learn skills, like how to share and cooperate.  I am sure I will see all different kinds of animals and plants.  I'll learn about saving the Earth and making friends as well.  It will be like an outdoor school with real visuals, instead of pictures.

Camp is almost over, it's time to go back home.  Thoughts will be filling up my mind, and facts will be flowing from my mouth.  Camp will change how I feel about nature and the Earth.  Now, I feel like I'm very close to nature, but I believe camp will bring me even closer.  I may even come back with some new friends!

At camp, I probably will learn about protecting the Earth.  Seeing the beautiful nature around me at camp, and talking about conservation will make me try harder to…SAVE OUR EARTH!  I mean, think about it.  Seeing the wonders of the world, and then coming home to garbage filled streets!  You'll want to keep the Earth looking like the camp you just got back from.  You will certainly be persuaded to save our Earth.

Going to sixth grade camp would be one of the greatest experiences that ever happened to me.  I just can't wait!