In my last post, it was about The Portland Outdoor School and what School District and City of Portland is doing with it. Like I have said, it’s not a bad thing and it should be there and funded properly. But what about OTHER camps and solutions and things that can happen to NOT have to go through this School? Maybe a better solution is sitting right under your nose and you just do not know it. Why does the Outdoor School only happens once a year. Why can it not happen every week or every month?
In the quick googling of camps, Portland and Oregon I found a few that are cool, besides the Outdoor School.
TrackerPDX: This one seems to be geared all year round and for the home schooled crowd. I like the Zombie First Responder class!
The Audubon Society of Portland is another. These are basically day trips and wildlife based.
There is even Outward Bound. Very cool stuff.
So a lot more in and around Portland. I highly suspect the same is in your area where you, the reader are now in. These activities and camps take a lot of money to send your child or children to! It’s Gymboree or a Playdate. These are classes/camps that teach you something, get you outdoors and experience things that make you stretch.
I am not going into the Sports Camps or Math Camps or other Academic Camps that you could go to. Those are good and worthwhile. I went to a few of them in my day as well. Heck, I even went to a speed reading class for a summer.
All of these classes above are good. But, why not do them ALL YEAR LONG? Go on field trips called Go-See-Its to the Police Dept, Fire Dept, TV Station, Newspaper, A Tree Farm, Ape Caves (Mt St Helens) go to a Science Day at Intel. Go hiking along a river, in a wildlife preserve, go to a Zoo and even sleep under the Spruce Goose. We had the normal Pinewood Derby and Raingutter Regattas. During Summertime Activities, we learned about water bottle rockets and Disc Golfing. All of these dealt with Nature, Science and how things worked.
All of these outing, expeditions and activities were through Cub scouts. Specifically within the Pack I am Cubmaster for. Scouting at any level (and there is Cubscouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Venture & Sea Scouts) is full of adventure, fun and learning. My daughter is in Girl Scouts and is having similar fun and has gone to camp as well. While I am not knee-deep into Girl Scouts, I know that Girl Scouts has similar offerings and Camps.
The whole Scouting Program offers all the items within its program, year round that the Outdoor School does several times a year. The other Camps that cost a lot of money do to, but you do not build off a year round program. Scouting as the youth progress gain leadership skills, build character and learn skills that can lead into hobbies and even careers. While not every Scout will be an Astronaut, they will have the basis to meet any of their goals and reach for their own star.
So, Outdoor School is good. But, it’s my contention that Scouting via any program for any youth is good. It is known throughout the entire world and was founded on helping promote peace and understanding to all. To me, having instant friends in Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, Libya, Mexico and any of the 140 nations is wonderful. Be Prepared to have more friends and fun along the way.
Having a year round program that gets the youth out into the wild year round for very low-cost will be a great benefit to all. Scouting is your answer.