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 Week of Nature: Campfires, New Friends, and Swimming

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 three more:

Nick Deesen
Cajon Park School
Santee School District

I am so excited to go to 6th grade camp at the Cuyamaca Outdoor School because we get to sleep in bunk beds, have campfires and s'mores!   I love to go camping.  I go camping at least three times a year with Cub Scouts!  I have heard lots of amazing things about camp!  I have never in my entire life slept in a cabin before so this will be a first experience for me!  I can't wait for next year!

At camp I hope to see lots of animals and birds.  I expect to learn lots of new things at camp, like the name and types of animals and even possibly some star constellations.  It would also be awesome to learn how to track animals by their footprints!  It would also be awesome if we could rock climb!  I want to see lots of greenery like trees, bushes and flowers!

I think camp would change me a lot.  I hope to learn tons of new things!  I think I will come back home full of new things to share with my amazing family!  I would tell my little sister how to track animals, because she loves them.  Camp will show me a lot more about the outdoors.  I know that I will love camp and I can experience it for real!

I live by a few certain rules and here is one of them – it is called "leave no trace" and that means "leave a place better than you found it".  I will take what I have learned and share it with my community!  I will also try my best to keep my school clean and nice looking.  I will also treat our neighborhood like it is camp so I can keep it clean!  Have you ever gone to 6th grade camp before?  It sounds like lots of major fun!  I will be so happy when I get to bunk with my great friends!  I can't wait for next year!  I will have a blast!


Samuel Hiller
Pepper Drive
Santee School District

I am very excited to go to sixth grade camp next year.  I love to be outdoors and I love to hike and I think I will have the opportunity to do both of those things at camp.  I'm also looking forward to meeting new people and seeing my friends out of school.  Usually I only get to see my friends at school, but when I go to camp, I will be able to see them from a different point of view.  These are some of the reasons why I am excited to go to sixth grade camp next year.

I expect to see and experience many new things at camp.  I know I will see a lot of plants and hopefully some wild animals.  I am excited to learn about nature and how to protect it.  Overall, I'm very excited to learn about and to see new things at sixth grade camp.

Going to camp will change me in many ways.  I have never been away from home for five days and I've never been away from my family for that long.  I believe that camp will help me grow and get used to being away from my home and my family for longer periods of time.  There will be many kids from different schools and I will need to learn how to meet and get along with new people. This will definitely change me in a positive way. 

I will take what I learn at camp to make my neighborhood, my community and my school a better place.  I can continue to protect the environment when I return from camp by recycling, saving electricity and saving water at my school and in my home.  What I learn at camp about getting along with other students, I can use in my community and in my school.  I will be able to better understand different people and be more comfortable when meeting new people.  It will make me more open to meeting new friends and this is a skill that is very important in my school and in my community.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to attend sixth grade camp next year.  I believe my experiences at camp will help me be more comfortable meeting new friends.  I will be able to take what I learn at camp and use it to make my home, my neighborhood and my community a better place.  Overall, I am very eager to go to sixth grade camp to see and learn new things.


Anny Zhang
Foussat Elementary
Oceanside Union School District

I'm excited to go to Cuyamaca Outdoor School because we get to do many things kids in normal schools can't do.  I would really love to see snakes and owls and other animals up close and go rock/mountain climbing.  I'd want to study the environment, tell stories around a campfire with my classmates and other kids, and do archery.  I want to go hiking in nature and do fun hands-on activities.  I've never ever been camping before, or away from my parents, so I would like to know how it feels.  I'm also excited about swimming and carving woodwork and rock sculptures.  I love learning about science because you can learn so many things and it's very exciting.  I love to go exploring in nature and learning about our eco-systems and our environment.  I think the Cuyamaca Outdoor School is awesome and it would be just perfect to be there for a whole entire week.  It would be the greatest time of my life and I would learn so many things from nature and science.

I expect to learn about nature, geology, and science.  How I think we are going to do that is by learning how to do archery, rock climbing, studying the stars and planets, crafting woodwork, telling stories, and socializing with friends and different kinds of people.  In our science groups, we are learning about rocks and minerals and I would like to get more information on it.

I think going to camp is going to change my actions and behaviors.  I hope that I can have more socializing skills and gain confidence.  I might talk more in class and answer more questions.  When I do things, I might not feel so nervous or shy anymore.  I like achieving my goals and having balance in life.  When I come back from camp, I hope to be a better person.

I will take away what I learned at camp to make my school and community a better place by picking up trash and helping clean up so animals and plants can be healthy.  I can teach my classmates, family, and friends how to do things and help them improve in subjects they already know how to do.  I can plant plants to help our environment grow.  I can learn about the plants that are native to our dry climate in San Diego, California and I can share that information with my teachers, family, and friends.  Right now, we are in a drought so it would be useful if there was information on water usage so our community can know how to use water usefully and not waste any of its precious drops.

I really hope I can go to Cuyamaca Outdoor School and I would feel the same for any of my classmates.  Cuyamaca Outdoor School is awesome and it would be a great opportunity to have a chance to go there and learn so many amazing things from science and nature.