Though they may be more familiar with the terrain and natural life of the interior Mount Rainier foothills given where they live, more than 300 students from and got to get their feet wet last week, studying the marine life of Puget Sound during a trip to a YMCA camp on the Key Peninsula.
The students spent three days overnight from October 10 to October 14 at YMCA Camp Seymour as part of the camp's Outdoor Environmental Education program, a YMCA press release said.
They learned about the outdoors and their impact on our environment through the camp’s education program, which enhances the Washington State Essential Learning Standards. Accompanied by volunteer chaperones, teachers and classmates, students participated in canoeing, archery, reptiles, and marine science.
Thunder Mountain teacher Mark Hanson, accompanied by Dan Rogel, Seth Polson, Kamele Kimball, Jodi Granger, and Kristine Couch, brought his students to Camp Seymour to emphasize community and to learn in a natural setting.
“We love coming to Camp Seymour each year because camp is such an amazing experience for our students. They learn so much about Natural Science and make lasting friendships that help build our Thunder Mountain community. We are so thankful for the hard work of parents that keep the 6th grade camp tradition alive,” said Hanson.
Enumclaw Middle School teacher Will Stuenkel brought his students to Camp Seymour to emphasize science education and to work toward coming together as a class.
“Enumclaw Middle School has a long tradition of taking its sixth graders to Camp Seymour. At camp, they gain a tremendous hands on science education and a once in a lifetime experience. Kids make new friends, gain confidence in themselves and learn about the natural world all around them. We thank our families, community and Camp Seymour for supporting Enumclaw kids in this worthwhile endeavor," said Stuenkel.
“Hands-on experiential education meets students’ needs on so many levels,” said Becca and Scott Gjertson, Outdoor Environmental Education Directors. “Kids need opportunities to be and learn outside. YMCA Camp Seymour offers a wide variety of classes from Marine Science with touch tanks and a live Reptiles class to Canoeing on Puget Sound. Students really enjoy the hands-on lessons.”
Camp Seymour occupies 180 acres and a half mile of shoreline on the Key Peninsula, 30 minutes from Tacoma. This education program introduces a variety of environmental topics like water quality and treatment, preserving the forest, understanding what lives in the Puget Sound, and responsibly enjoying the outdoors. YMCA staff naturalists come from across the country to share their knowledge and enthusiasm when teaching classes. The program serves 8,000 participants from 96 different schools.