6th Grade ‘Day’ Camp

6th grade camp changes from one week to one day


Sasha Smith, Staff Reporter

Most can agree that 6th grade camp was a very memorable experience. The four-day overnight trip had a little something for everyone, including activities such as horseback riding, ziplining, arts and crafts, and much more. Some students enjoyed the experience so much that they chose to go back as camp counselors. 

Last year, the 6th graders didn’t get the chance to go at all. This year, due to COVID, there’s been a few modifications made to the camp. For starters instead of driving down to Camp Lakewood in Potosi, Missouri for four days, the camp has been shortened to one day in Babler Park. Carine Heller (12), one of the camp counselors, felt the kids didn’t really get the full 6th-grade camp experience.

“This change made the experience a little less enjoyable since we didn’t have more time to connect with the 6th graders, but it was still enjoyable because we got to have the counselor experience after all,” Heller said.

Being a camp counselor requires missing school but still keeping up with assignments.

“I think the biggest challenge of being a 6th grade camp counselor was missing a school day because I had to make up my work for certain classes where I missed an important in-class workday,” Heller said. 

Not only do camp counselors get to relearn some outdoor skills with the kids, but also have the responsibility of keeping the students out of trouble. Josh Stone (12), another camp counselor, found it a little difficult to keep the kids in line because of their spontaneous behavior.

“The kids are very impulsive. They do whatever they want and are not very good at listening to directions. But dealing with kids is always kinda fun anyway even if they are a little unruly,” Stone said.

Interacting with a variety of kids really helped the counselors form connections and remind them of their own 6th-grade selves.

“Meeting all of these different kids from different walks of life is cool, and I get to see how maybe I acted like back then,” Stone said.

The feeling of nostalgia overcomes some of these counselors as they relive the experience with past bunkmates.

“My favorite part of the experience was being co-counselors during the day with my friend Kaitlyn Miller. It was really special because we were in the same cabin, and even bunkmates when we were in 6th-grade camp in 2016,” Heller said.

Most of the skills learned during their time as a counselor can be incorporated into their everyday routine. 

“Some good skills I can take away from the experience are keeping a schedule and being on time (in this instance so we could get to all the stations at camp), and that the most effective way to communicate with the younger students is with a positive attitude,” Heller said.

Although trying to keep most of the activities the same, one of the biggest traditions was left out. The 6th graders did not make lanyards or collect beads which is a regular tradition at 6th-grade camp.

“It was very sad to see how much it had changed and the experience they missed out on because of COVID,” Stone said.

Even though the experience definitely wasn’t the same due to COVID, it’s still a great opportunity to bring the 6th-graders together and enjoy plenty of team bonding activities.