Just last week the Outdoor Education Center hosted twenty-one students for our first ever “Arts on the Mountain Camp!” To kick off the week, students tie-dyed shirts, donated by Skinner Law Firm, designed team flags inspired by Salvador Dali and Margaret Bourke-White, and created their own unique twig art. As the week progressed, students learned about art in the natural world. Counselors led campers around the OEC’s property to learn about forest ecology and the numerous concepts of tree identification. Students proceeded to create silhouette tree paintings, leaf masks and personal native-plant terrariums. Every camp at the Outdoor Education Center focuses on interactive learning during our low and high ropes team building courses. This past week our middle school students were able to practice using their teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and communication skills. For students to express their creative sides each cabin created a unique skit to perform in front of the entire camp; many groups decided to use comedy, dance, and singing to convey their group’s impression of camp!
Campers also travelled to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a very artistic town close to the Outdoor Education Center. While visiting Shepherdstown, students had the opportunity to talk on-air at a local radio station and complete a historical, photo scavenger hunt. As the week progressed, we had a guest photographer discuss his profession with the students and a local band, Chelsea McBee and the Random Assortments, play music for the students. Many of the campers enjoyed the band by singing along and dancing. On Thursday, students visited an environmentally friendly home where we discussed how to use natural construction materials along with alternative architectural techniques. Students also sculpted their own clay creations; many sculptures reflected their time at camp at the Outdoor Education Center.
On the students’ last day at camp they played bingo, painted benches in the shower house, and had a group campfire with games and many s’mores. All of the students from D.C, Harpers Ferry, and Charles Town Middle Schools enjoyed their time at the OEC during our inaugural “Arts on the Mountain Camp!”
(Sarah Nowicki is an AmeriCorps Vista at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center)