Each fall and spring for over 30 years, Clear Spring School’s 1st-6th grade students let the beauty of Arkansas be their classroom for three days and two nights.
The camping program brings adventure, challenges, teamwork, and personal growth. Camping builds skill and interest in outdoor activity; forges meaningful connections between students and subjects such as biology, botany, and ecology; develops independence and interdependence; inspires environmental responsibility; and provides time and space for thoughtful reflection.
Depending on their destination, students study the ecology of rivers, forest, meadows, and caves. They practice plant identification, hike trails, explore caves, investigate streambeds, examine animal tracks, observe weather patterns, read compasses, write journals, play games, and create musical instruments and other crafts from natural materials.
In the days prior to camping departure, students work diligently in mixed-age teams to inspect gear, practice tent set up and take down, plan menus, review fire safety, and schedule campsite duties such as meal preparation, clean up, wood gathering and safety patrol.
Camping enlists family participation as chaperones, as well as community members willing to share their skills in areas such as whittling, music or natural art.