Junior highs head to Camp Tecumseh


Photo by Ellie Albin.

The front cover of the Riverside Junior High lesson booklet hints at what is to be found within the packet, which features educational activities from a wide array of subjects, including the connection of students to nature, solving mathematical occurrences in the outdoor world and learning about the history of the area.

Ellie Albin, Sports Editor

Riverside Junior High has kicked off their annual trip to Camp Tecumseh, which takes seventh graders on a three-day excursion with high school counselors into the wilderness of Brookston, Indiana.

Every seventh grader is given the opportunity to participate in the trip to Camp Tecumseh. Even though it is not technically a required trip, it is highly recommended, as it does count for a grade. If a child chooses not to attend, they are given an alternate assignment to complete back at Riverside. However, majority of seventh graders attend camp, enticed by the idea of interacting with high school students, who are there for their own individual reasons.

“I applied to be a Camp Tecumseh counselor because I have friends who did it last year and they said it was really fun,” junior counselor Paige Kertes said. “I also want to gain more leadership skills.”

It is not all fun and games for the high school students, though. Counselors must take three days off from school in order to attend camp. This can often cause complications and stress.

“I’m really stressed about missing three days of school, because you do a lot in three days,” Kertes said. “I’m also missing a couple tests, which I have to worry about making up now.”

As a whole, however, the school has learned to cooperate and plan around Camp Tecumseh for the junior highs every year, making it generally easy to accommodate.

“Most of my teachers have been nice and understanding about me missing their class,” Kertes said. “They know that I’m missing for a school thing, and they’ve been willing to let me know what I’m going to miss.”

School aside, camp for high school students is about gaining valuable teaching, conversational and teamwork skills. In order to draw the attention of the seventh graders, counselors go to considerable lengths to make the trip as comfortable and fun as possible, beginning with creating a theme for the alphabet letter they are assigned before camp.

“I’ve prepared by buying kids in my group things to go along with my theme,” Kertes said. “My letter is Q, and my theme is Queen. So, I bought them all crowns and they’re each getting a bracelet that I made for them.”

Throughout camp, campers will participate in such activities as archery, rock climbing, square dancing. One event, dubbed the “Crazy Olympics,” sees kids and counselors compete in various games like cup stacking or musical chairs. Throughout camp, students also fill out a packet with science, math, social studies and English lessons. Counselors lead their groups of four to six students through this packet, providing easy-to-understand lessons to teach the information.

Being a counselor does not come without worry. Being kids themselves, counselors still have concerns of their own for the experience that lies ahead.

“I don’t want the kids to not talk at all and not want to do the fun things at camp,” junior counselor Amelia Anderson said. “I’m hoping for kids that can have fun while we are there but are also well-behaved.”

Camp week began on Oct. 29 and will come to a close on Nov. 2, when seventh graders and high schoolers will say goodbye, go their separate ways and return to their regular schedules.