Assignment: Education – Camp Salem

Eighty-five Lincoln Middle School seventh-graders took their learning outside to Camp Salem in Black River Falls.

“The kids get to apply everything they’ve learned from the year at… well, we call it a campout, but it’s an outdoor education experience,” said Tim Sprain, seventh-grade Lincoln Middle School teacher.

The kids are split into seven groups and rotate through 16 one-hour learning experiences throughout the overnight trip.

They monitor and compare water data and then go for a waterfall hike in the same river water that will eventually end up in their La Crosse homes.

“They get a good idea of how things change over time and how water impacts their lives,” said Sprain.

Math skills are also a part of this experience as students assemble picnic tables to leave at camp.

“Every student will have some part in it, whether it’s assembling them or building the basic structure,” said Christopher Mayer, Lincoln Middle School technology education teacher.

“There is a sense of legacy, pride and taking care of the property, the land and just for future people to use,” said Sprain.

Learning how to survive in the wilderness is another component to this camp.

“It really combines with a lot of the things that go into our science and our engineering of the environment curriculum,” said Sprain.

“If someone is bleeding, it helps, like, stop it or try to slow it down if someone is bleeding really badly,” said Ava Scholl, a Lincoln Middle School seventh-grader.

Even archery allows for learning.

“The idea of following the steps, following the directions, this all ties into science and math,” said Sprain.

So as students rotate through new experiences, teachers use their skills, the help of many volunteers and several community partners to create an outdoor experience some students will never forget.

“I absolutely love it,” said Sprain. “I would not be in teaching if we did not do adventure education like we do here.”