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Orange County Focus

LA HABRA : Students Get a Taste of Camp Life

July 24, 1993|MIMI KO

After four weeks of learning about camping, 870 summer school students enjoyed playing the part of campers Friday at Imperial Middle School.

The first- through eighth-grade students spent their last day of summer school gunnysack racing, getting their faces painted with watercolors, weaving crosses, singing songs and participating in other camp-related activities.

"I've never gone camping before, but I like pretending," said Hannah Eko, 7, after winning a stick of licorice for coming in first in a gunnysack race against other first-graders. "I wish I could go for real. It's so fun."

Teachers said their students had been anticipating the event because all their lessons involved topics that can be used in camping, such as the environment, ecology and geography. Some classes learned to pitch tents and make campfires, while others learned about wildlife, forests and survival techniques, along with math, history and English.

"They learned a lot about camping this summer," third-grade teacher Audry Weins said. "Today's just a fun carnival-like day to end it all."

Many of the students have never gone camping and some may never get a chance to go, Principal Sandi Baltes said.

"We're thinking about doing this camping theme next year because the kids get exposed to something that they may not otherwise be exposed to--something beyond their own little worlds," she said.

Susana Zavala, 11, said she liked the camp-life exposure.

"We learned how to help each other," she said, showing 9-year-old Bobby Sepulveda how to weave a cross made of Popsicle sticks with a long piece of colored yarn.

Vanessa Rodriguez said she learned how to use a compass, read a map, pitch a tent and barbecue food. "I have to go camping now because I learned all about it and I know what to do," the 9-year-old said.

Fifth-grade teacher Barbara Akers said the students gained interest in their surroundings and the environment because of the classes.

"It's been fun," said a drenched Aldo Talamantes, 11, after losing a water balloon-toss competition. "I wish I could do this at home."

Older students, who helped organize the event, said they learned something, too.

"I never really liked the outdoors," said sixth-grader Aphrodite Hill, 11. "But it's been pretty cool learning about camping. I want to do it now because I'm real curious about it."

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