Our middle school students go every year, for three days and two nights, to Black Rock Retreat in PA. It is a wonderful place, and I enjoy going there for the beautiful surroundings and the chance to see my students in a different light. We do “team building” type activities, have devotions, take on the high ropes course (I want to do it too!), and just have fun.
So, here are the top 5 things I have learned to bring:
- 1. Layers of clothing! Camping with 28 8th graders in October can be an adventure, and you never know what the weather will bring. I bring short sleeves, long sleeves, a sweatshirt, thermals, and jeans, and mix, match, and sometimes during a night hike, wear every piece of clothing all at once if it gets really cold.
- 2. A PILLOW! I tried for the past few years to go all “scouty” and just roll up my sweatshirt for a pillow but this year I am bringing a REAL pillow. I just never wanted to get it dirty or have too much to carry, but oh, well.
- 3. Bug spray. For some reason, I am particularly tasty to bugs.
- 4. A good flashlight, and extra batteries. For when one of my big, strong, scared-of-nothing students gets scared of the dark.
- 5. A sense of adventure. I go with the flow. I don’t miss my computer (at least not too much). I revel in the beauty of nature, gobble down “camp food,” and participate in everything, no matter how messy or potentially embarrassing. Like that time 2 years ago when I very badly attempted to climb the rock wall. It was not pretty.