Road Trip
Columbia kids hit Campbell Gard

CES camp trip frye

Reagan Heck

R. Heck

It’s that time of year again: the leaves are changing and students are finally in the swing of the new school year. Just in time for Kings sixth-graders to take their annual trip to Camp Campbell Gard.

Since 1989 – well before this crop of sixth-graders was born – Camp Campbell Gard has proven to be a positive bonding experience for both students and teachers. Twenty five years ago, when Kings sixth-graders attended Kings Mills Elementary, it launched. And continued on when the kids were all moved to the Columbia building.

Over the years the Camp Campbell Gard trip has developed from the way it was in the beginning to what it is today. What started out as a one-day trip eventually expanded into a two-night and three-day adventure.

Camp Campbell Gard does amazing things for everyone that attends the trip. Friendships are formed, and the ice is broken. Every student connects to one another and lifelong memories are created.

Dave Bidwell, a sixth grade teacher at Columbia as well as the all-time Camp Campbell Gard leader, loves the trip and how it strengthens student and teacher relationships.

He said teachers get the rare opportunity to connect with their students outside of the academic setting.

“The teachers get a chance to bond with students and that might help throughout the year. It also promotes team building for the kids,” Bidwell said.

Every year, teachers and students look forward to the camp experience. From the family style dinners to the adventures on The Underground Railroad, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Sixth-grade teacher Mike Luke has attended camp for six years now, and enjoys interacting with his students outside of the classroom.

“My favorite part is seeing the students outside an academic environment. By hanging out and watching them, I learn a ton more stuff about them in science class. Also, I get to see them succeed in other ways than in the classroom. For example, some kids might not do well in my class at school but might be a leader in their survival class out at camp,” Luke said.

Sixth-grader Isaac Miller is counting down the days until he leaves for Camp Campbell Gard. “I am excited to go,” Miller said. “I like to go on a journey once in a while. I’m also excited because I get to be with a lot of my friends.”

The children are are also eager to participate in all of the activities that Camp Campbell Gard has to offer. “I am most excited for the games. I have always enjoyed playing outside,” Miller said.

All of the sixth-graders that have attended Camp Campbell Gard with their class have had a positive and beneficial experience. The children as well as the teachers look forward to attending camp, and will remember the lasting memories for many years.

“I would like to think that the trip will continue for many years to come. A lot of kids, that is what they remember from sixth grade. It is a nice tradition that is a benefit to kids and staff,” Bidwell said.

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