3rd Grade Camping

The 3rd grade camping trip gets kids excited about nature, learning and challenging themselves, building community, collaborating and supporting each other in a new and different environment.

The 3rd grade camping trip takes place at Camp Speers Eljabar, a 1000 acre birch and tamarack forest and bog.

For 2019, the dates of the camping trip are April 10-12 (3 days/ 2 nights).

We need to raise $30,000 for the trip (includes buses), with an average dollar amount per child of $300. Some kids raise more, and everything is pooled.  All children go on the trip, regardless of how much their family is able to contribute.  The Read-A-Thon (details below) is one way that we will try to raise these funds, but parents can also donate directly using the donate button below.

The exciting details…


There will be 3 Groups:

  • Learning group – 7 main activities, 13-14 kids
  • Cabin group – share a cabin
  • Dining Hall group – dine together

Learning Groups:

  • Nature Trail: i.e. birch bark trees – experiential learning – sniff, taste, bog – leftover from glacier era- walk through on the wooden plank path
  • Survival: building a shelter to survive in wilderness, build in teams, will test each group’s shelter by shaking it, etc.
  • Child’s Park / Archery
  • Team Building: Practice communication skills to solve a community problem
  • Confidence Course: Walking on a tight rope slackline, climbing a rope wall
  • Climbing Tower: climbing and repelling a climbing wall
  • Pond Study: Learn how to disturb wildlife- using nets and buckets, get samples of leave and stones, chart and match it up to the chart, to find out the quality of water and make observations

Relax and Play – swings and grassy field, black top, basketball nets

Cabin Groups:

Chaperones monitor kids’ habits in the cabins. Chaperones will be there for all the kids, not just their own. In fact, chaperones will only be placed with their child in one of the groups, and will not be spending 3 full days only with their child. 12-15 chaperones are needed total.

Teachers take the recruiting of chaperones seriously. Please thoroughly answer the questions in the packet they send out, so that we can find a good fit.

Girls cabins will have Mom chaperones. Boy cabins will have Dads. Some Boy cabins will have Moms too

Night hike: No flashlights, learn about nocturnal creatures and how they live, use senses (smell, listen, etc.) to study and observe

Dining Hall Groups: 

Chaperones help set up and set tables. Everyone will help clean up. Teachers will encourage only taking what you will eat in small amounts and then going back for more if desired.

ORT buckets collect food which could have been eaten (ort is a 15th century word meaning food scraps). Teachers will graph ORT bucket collection every meal to show how much has been wasted. Students will become more and more conscious of their waste and will waste less and less each meal.

General Info:

Unpredictable Weather: bring waterproof boots and changes of socks, warm clothes, gloves, dress in layers. The weather can vary from warm to cold in one day.

Packets will go home soon to explain the specifics.  Please fill out all necessary paperwork and return right away.

A Nurse will come and stay in nearby cabin. She’ll make the rounds and check in all day.

Vegetarians and Vegans – there will be an option.  Kids will be seated in dining room accordingly, based on possible allergies.  The Kitchen will also list ingredients of every dish they serve in case of allergies.

Tick checks – kids and adults will check each other every night. In the past, they’ve mainly found dog ticks, not lyme ticks.


Goal: To raise $30,000 for camping trip (includes buses)
Average dollar amount per child: $300
Some kids raise more, all amounts are pooled together.

The sponsor sheet will have space to include 20 sponsors. There is no end date for collecting sponsors. Students record the number of minutes they read at home and at school.

“No screens” week – 3rd week of read-a-thon.  Most likely, more reading happens.

Thank you notes to all the sponsors and totaling up dollar amount (will take 3 days at school to complete) – Get as much money into school before the trip but you can still collect after the trip.

Creative ways to get a sponsor- i.e. make a video to send.
On the sheet which will be sent home will be a script that you may use to ask sponsors.

If you are motivated to take on any extra bake sales, lemonade stand, etc. to raise money, you’re on your own outside of the school, but the funds can certainly be added to the money raised for the trip.

Don’t lose the sponsor sheet!

How do we give the collected money to the school?
Payment Options:

  • Personal check from parent (parent collects from sponsors and writes a check to school)
  • Paypal – (use “DONATE” button above) please include your kids name and teacher in the PayPal notes 
Important Events & Dates:
  • Feb 1-Feb 24 Collect Sponsors
  • Feb 25- Mar 18 Read-a-thon
  • Mar 12- Mar 18 No Screens
  • Mar 21- until completed Collect Money
  • Mar 26 at 5:30 Camp Chaperone Meeting
  • Apr 10- 12 (Wed to Fri) Go to Camp Speers

* Camp Packet will go home Feb 4
* Return Camp Packet by Mar 5 or ASAP

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