MOUNT VERNON — Creating a camp-like experience for children during the school day, Columbia Elementary staff host Camp Skeeter toward the end of each school year.
“Camp Skeeter has been the best week ever,” said Shelby Daughriety. Most pupils, including Blake Schlaegel, agreed.
The half-day sessions include singing camp songs around the flag pole, sleeping bags, outdoor games and letters from home.
“I liked the letters I’ve gotten from home,” said Samantha Davis. “My dog, my cat and my mom have written me.”
Christian Palladino said the students got into their sleeping bags to read during silent reading time, and Matt Rainer liked singing all of the camp songs.
This year’s theme, “Camp Skeeter explores Ohio,” was based on the Ohio science standards for grades one and two, and the week started off with a field trip to the Brown Family Environmental Center. Soil and water conservation representatives, people from the environmental center, representatives from the county Extension office and seven teachers manned various learning centers to introduce the campers to ponds, rivers and wetlands.
Along with Taryn King, Honey Morrison and Donavin McClain, David Parsons liked going into the river.
“I like getting wet,” he said. “I saw two baby crawdads.”
“I learned about pond life,” said Lia Fuscaldo. “I saw a snake, frogs and dragonflies.”
Symphani Woosley said, “Camp Skeeter was so much fun because I got to see a snake.”
On another day, a science teacher from another school system — deemed “fun and cool” by Cole Collins and “nice” by Darien Novatney — guided the students through a series of science experiments, exercising the students’ minds; and a morning full of group games exercised their bodies as well.
Wyatt Kissell said he really loved the experiments, and Noah Humphrey liked making the volcanoes.
Abby Strong, Kylie Ransom and Ashlyn Kelley also liked learning about birds and birds nests during their Camp Skeeter activities.