Nature Bridge: 4th and 5th Grade
Location: Lake Cresent, Olympic National Park
Starting in 1991, TEAM has been sending children to outdoor school at Nature Bridge, formerly known as Olympic Park Institute (OPI), on Crescent Lake, outside of Port Angeles.
The rotation of curriculum is:
Water and Watersheds – fresh and salt water (depending upon the low tides during our camp days).
The children spend Wednesday night and Thursday night in cabins. Staff has a separate cabin, not far from the student cabins. The children have activities on the trail and usually some classes right in camp…..lab classes or similar. There are four hiking groups of about 11 children each and two chaperones with each group. Staff take turns going with groups. Sometimes a staff member stays back at the camp in case children are sick or have time-outs. A staff member must also dispense the meds (inhalers, lunch meds).
TEAM staff members all work together to form the cabin and hiking groups and to assign the chaperones. The students will fill out cards requesting children they would like to have in their hiking and cabin groups. They are promised at least one friend in their cabin bedroom and one in their hiking group. There are several meetings before camp for the students to take care of some business. They also have spirit sticks and review expectations for behavior in cabins and on the trails. Parent drivers transport the students. Four (4) men chaperones and four (4) women chaperones accompany the children while at camp. Some extra drivers are needed on Wednesday and Friday to deliver gear and students. Friday, drivers come to collect gear and students, then spend the day with campers. The caravan stops at Sequim Bay State Park for a bathroom/snack break on the way up and back. The Nature Bridge educators take charge of the curriculum. TEAM staff do follow up lessons after the group returns to Silver Ridge.
Camp costs are supplemented using the funds raised at the TEAM auction
Two TEAM staff members go to camp. One intermediate staff member and a primary staff member spread out responsibility. The primary teachers alternate years. TAC pays for the guest teacher for the primary staff member attending. TEAM staff are in charge of discipline, activities each afternoon and general responsibilities. During meal times in the lodge, one teacher is in charge of mail, the other is in charge of dispensing medications.
Many families and friends send mail to their students while they are at camp. Because US Postal service can be erratic, we set up “mailboxes” outside the TEAM classrooms a few days before we leave for “mail” to be deposited. Mail is delivered at dinner on Wednesday, dinner on Thursday and breakfast on Friday. Some generic cards and letters are sent by the primary students so that every child receives at least one piece of mail while they are at camp.
TEAM GOES CAMPING
Additional Information About Nature Bridge Camp
Please download and consider the following information prior to sending your child to Nature Bridge Camp.
Day Camp: 1st-3rd
Location: Varies year to year
TEAM Primary students in grades one, two, and three have a spring outdoor education trip each year referred to as Day Camp. The children travel to a local park and spend the day doing activities and projects related to the theme for the year.
Chaperones and the two staff members coordinate lessons and activities. In the late afternoon they have a barbecue dinner and close out the evening with camp songs. This is an extended day for the children who usually leave school around 8:00 in the morning and leave to go home with their parents at 6:45 that evening.
The theme rotation is:
Wetlands and Native American Studies
Marine Science and Geology
The parent group, TAC, underwrites approximately 25% of the cost for Day Camp and the barbecue. Children usually pay about $15. Scholarship funds are available. Parent chaperones help to make this event possible.
Camp Indianola: 3rd Grade
Students in third grade get to experience camp as well. Students, teachers and volunteer parents will drive up to Indianola, where they will focus on science while experiencing the outdoors. This is a one night camp, perfect for preparing the students for 4th and 5th grade Nature Bridge.