John T. Waugh
Outdoor Education ProgramMrs. Andrea Cwyner - PrincipalMrs. Allyson Mion - Camp CoordinatorJune 2023!
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The Lake Shore Central 5th Grade Outdoor Education Program is a three day educational camp experience that challenges our students to look more closely at the natural world around them. Camp Seven Hills (owned by the Girl Scout Council of Buffalo & WNY.) is located in Holland, New York and offers the perfect facility and setting for our programs.
Highland Elementary was the first of our schools to go to camp in Franklinville in 1969 with a group of 6th grade students and a very ambitious staff. Since then generations of our school community have come together around the campfire, building friendships and memories that will surely last a lifetime! The program adapted with two redistricting plans, first to change to a 4th grade program, and finally a 5th grade program. In 2009 the program was expanded to offer the experience to students of the former William T. Hoag Elementary School. And, finally in 2011, 5th grade students and staff from the J.T. Waugh Elementary School were extended the opportunity also.
Our program is a community effort, with the support of our J.T. Waugh PTG, the Evans Police Department, WNY United Against Drugs & Alchohol, and various area businesses. Parents, school staff, and local volunteers come through each and every year to make sure our kids are given the opportunity to participate in this unique and proven outdoor education/camp experience.
The Circle Of Friendship
The "Circle Of Friendship was introduced to the camp program in 2005 by Highland Elementary teacher, Mrs. Charlene Schneckenberger. The circle is the place we first gather, and becomes the center and heart of our program. Representing each of our student "Animal Groups," the circle symbolizes the unity of our program, and shows the pride we have in our student's and staff! So let's hear it for the Raccoons, Snakes, Fish, Turtles, Hawks, and Beavers!
Camp Seven Hills is set on a beautiful landscape, full of wildlife and beautiful scenery to explore. We rent only about 1/8 of the facility, using 3 lodges and "Hunter's Cabin Pond.' Although Empire Lodge serves as our program headquarters, Instructional classes and activities are held throughout the entire area illustrated below.Manuel Lodge Empire Lodge Hammond House
The ProgramDuring their stay at Camp Seven Hills, student groups will rotate through seven staff instructed outdoor education stations. Camp staff includes members of the J.T. Waugh Elementary staff, PTG officers, community volunteers, and the Evans Police department."WHOse Bones?"Did you know that owls swallow their prey whole and then regurgitate what is not digested as an owl pellet? Our students explore these owl pellets, studying what the owl eats, and reconstructing the skeletons of its prey. One of our most popular educational stations, "WHOse Bones" brings new discoveries that delight both students and adults with every group."Compass Crusaders"Orienteering is a crucial skill for navigating through unmarked areas in the forest environment. Our students are trained in the use of the navigational compasses during school instruction. At camp, our orienteering course allows the kids to then put their training to work, and maybe even earn a prize!"Pond Pondering"Learning about, and exploring, the pond ecosystem allows our students to see a first-hand perspective of this delicate habitat. After learning about many of the pond's organisms and their roles, students explore in a uniquely personal way, with each session coming alive with different wonders."Mystery Math"How often do you get to hold Math class in the forest? Mystery math challenges our kids to use measurement, prediction, computation, explanation and teamwork to solve mathematical mysteries they encounter. Who needs a dry erase board or classroom technology?"Mountain Muscles"Mountain Muscles combines physical fitness with scientific exploration. Students go through a challenging hike, which includes climbing and repelling through trails that define the beauty of Camp Seven Hills. Along the way, instructors stress important hiking tips, identification of flora and natural landscapes, and the impact of natural events on changing of the terrain and streams."Totally Teamwork""WNY United Against Drugs & Alcohol" provides the instruction for our Trust Building/Problem Solving station. Students are presented with a number of problems in which they must work as a team to solve or complete. Promoting higher level thinking skills, "Totally Teamwork" proves to be a great station for our students to really stretch their teamwork and confidence abilities."Rising Rockets"Rising Rockets combines the concepts of outer space, physics, and the arts. Students learn how to make rockets, and learn the science behind their function. Rockets are constructed at camp, and then a special launch date is scheduled back at the school campus following camp. What a wonderful experience for our kids as "They Reach For the Sky!"Guest ProgramsMr. Dave MQuay (Environmental Educator - NYS Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation)Dave has been a friend of the Outdoor Education program for many years. His programs have included Fossil Exploration, Studies of the Lake Erie Freshwater Dunes, Old Growth Tree Explorations, and Studying Lake Erie Marshes. Regardless of the topic, Mr. McQuay and his staff bring an incredible awareness to our students of our local ecosystems, and the importance of protecting them for future generations."Nature Mary" Hughes (Environmental Educator - Buffalo Museum of Science)Mary has also been a longtime friend of the program. Her "Marooned" program has become a favorite of our students, as they learn survival skills necessary in an emergency if they were stranded."The Reptile Guy" (Jeff Musial- Nickel City Reptiles)Nels Ross ("Science Circus" - Juggling program)Originally developedby Nels for our program, the "Science Circus" has become one of our most enjoyable programs at camp. Using amazing feats of physics, Nels fascinates and entertains our kids with a program that also teaches them important science skills.Paul Rainville (Certified Fly Fishing Stream Guide)A Lake Shore Central graduate himself, Mr. Rainville conducts a fly-fishing clinic with our students, and offers them an opportunity to put their training to work in the actual pond environment."Hangin' With the Hogs"(Mrs. Dawn Camp- "Camp Skipping Pig")Last year, our 5th grade took on a special holiday project to help out a local pig rescue and rehabilitation center in Java, New York called "Camp Skipping Pig." We raised money and collected blankets for use by the center, which is under the direction of Mrs. Dawn Camp. We were so excited when Mrs. Camp visited camp with a few of her friends, which include varying varieties of pigs and wild boars. After all....... "Anything's Possible when pigs fly together!"
Other ActivitiesFishingGamesFood(and, more food!)Campfire, Skits & SongsTelescope "Night Watch" (with Mr. Howard Martin & Mr. Jeff & Mrs. Marie White)Bedtime(z-z-z-z-z-z)"WAKE UP!"Morning ExercisesJust Having Fun!
Special DedicationThis webpage is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Frank Vail, a longtime member of our camp program, and strong proponent of educating the children of our community about their natural world. Frank could always be found carving a walking stick at camp for staff members, and would award them at the end of the program. This tradition still lives on in his memory, and serves a gentle reminder of what this program is all about.....The J.T. Waugh Grade 5 Outdoor Ed. Program"Our School And Our Community.....Coming Together For Our Kids!"