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Curriculum

Walcamp Outdoor Education Curriculum

The following are standard activities that we provide to fully programmed schools.

Morning Devotion: Some teachers have devotions planned, but if not, we have a short ten to fifteen minute devotion prepared. The participants will sing a few fun songs and then hear a short devotion. We feel it is important to start the day in the Word and in prayer.

Journal Time: This time is set aside for the participants to do some personal reflection and creative writing. The participants will get the chance to look back on the day and write down their thoughts and feelings about their experiences.

Campfire Devotion:This is a great opportunity for the participants to relax and have fun. It is a great way to end the day in the Word. Participants will sing up-beat Christian songs in front of the campfire, have a short devotion and a closing prayer for the night.

Observation Hike: This will give the students a chance to become more acquainted with Walcamp while at the same time, sharpening their senses to the environment found in their surroundings.

Snacks & Camp Store: This is a time for the students to take a break from their classes. Students can buy water, soda, chips and candy, as well as souvenirs. Visit the Camp Store.

 

Day Activites
Environmental Education

These 90 min lessons focus on environmental issues and the natural world that God has given us.

Adopt-a-Tree:  Learn about the trees at Walcamp, what makes each tree different and ways to identify them.  Then “adopt” a tree and put your knowledge to the test.  This unit has some overlap with “Life of a Tree”.

Animal Evidence:  Learn interesting facts about the animals living around Walcamp.  We examine our collectin of animal artifacts and then explore Walcamp to see what animal evidence we discover.

Aquatic Antics:  Have you ever wondered what lives in the water of a pond or stream?  Through exploration of field guides, we will find out together.  Wear clothes you can get wet for this one!

Community Comparisons:  Students will be able to describe similarities and differences among three communities (Habitats) they observe. Students will take measurements and keep accurate data.

Eco-World:  What is an ecosystem?  What is a food chain?  How do the living organisms and non-living elements depend on each other?  Answers to these questions and more are discussed through exploration of one or more of the ecosystems present at Walcamp, as well as each student’s responsibility to care of this world that God has blessed them with.

For the Birds:  Students learn about birds — likeness, differences, habits, niches, parts — and attempt to identify different birds through field observation.

Life of a Tree:  How old are the trees growing around Walcamp?  We use a statistical method to determine their ages without having to cut them down and counting rings.  This unit has some overlap with “Adopt-a-Tree.”

Micro-Communities:  Students gain a better appreciation and knowledge of the small and unseen parts of their environment; enhance their awareness of nature through sharpening observation skills, and practice skills in communication.

Nature Hike:  Hike through Walcamp’s nature trails, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.  Other options could include a Twilight Hike or Night Hike, showing changes during different times of the day or night.

Plant Life:  Students will become more aware of the importance of plants and how a plant grows and produces.  They will look at the different plant communities at Walcamp to understand how one plant community succeeds another.

Our Solar System:  How far apart are the planets?  We will do an activity to illustrate that.  Then we will look at telescopes and how they work.  Students will make their own.  This session is a good compliment to Awe-stronomy.

Weather:  Students learn to take weather readings and make predictions through cloud observations and their senses, and evaluate previous predictions.  They use their own senses as well as weather equipment.

Available Lessons
Outdoor, Social/Community Skills

These 90 minute lessons focus on outdoor skills, history and working as a team.

Group Building: Play non-competitive field games and basic group-building activities with your group as they develop skills that enable them to communicate and work together as a team.  Group Building is a scaled down, no-risk variation of our GIC Program.

Group Initiative Course (GIC) Program: Participants learn about how to work together within a group.  In-depth processing and discussion after each activity allows participants to connect the GIC experience to their daily walk with Christ or in the classroom.  Individuals participate at their own level, with challenges modified to meet the needs of each individual group.

The half-day option focuses on trust building activities and “low ropes” elements.  Full-day options can place greater emphasis on team dynamics or make use of the “high ropes” elements if the group is ready for the challenge.  A signed GIC Risk Release form is required for each participant.  GIC options require Walcamp trained facilitators.  Available GIC options may be limited by staff availability.

Native Americans Unit:  This unit will focus on Native Americans in Illinois and specifically the tribes that were located here in our surrounding area.  We will give a history lesson, play games and make a craft.

Pioneer Life: Turn back the clock and discover what life was like for the early pioneers.  Plan a trip across the open prairie, and learn about some of the tools and experiences that were part of their everyday lives.  Students have the opportunity to handle most of the artifacts (or replicas) and even try some out.


Servant Event:  This is an opportunity for the students to take ownership of Walcamp by helping with the various service projects around camp while learning the value of serving others.  Projects vary by season and need.

Paint Ball:  This is another group building option as the participants work together with their team members to achieve an objective opposed by another team.  Extra costs/forms involved.

Archery:  Learn basic bow and arrow techniques and spend time improving skills.   Walcamp-trained instructor required.

Canoeing:  Learn basic canoeing skills, race with your friends, and enjoy a peaceful turn around the lake.   Walcamp lifeguard is required

Fishing:  A seasonal elective that lets the students see how easy, or hard, it is to catch a fish.  They will get the chance to try their hand at some basic fishing in our lake.

Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing:  Explore the beauty of winter as you trek through the woods and fields of Walcamp.

Outdoor Cooking:  Build a fire and prepare a meal over the fire.  This will be lunch for the day!

Orienteering:  Follow in the footsteps of others as you learn to use a compass, then use directions, pacing and bearings to find your way through a basic Orienteering course.

Survival:  What is the first thing to do if you get lost?  Learn basic survival skills and what you need to survive in the woods.  Escape the elements in a shelter that you build.

Cartography:  Explore the world of maps and map making by mapping Walcamp’s lake.

Nature Math:  Work with estimation and mathematics by developing a personal set of measurement tools, then put aside the rulers and test your new tools to measure distances and items found around you.

Nature Crafts:  This is a chance for the students to get a little creative and have a great time doing it.  The crafts are fun for all ages.

Active Field Games:  Students will play an active, fun-filled outdoor games.  If the weather does not permit them to be outside, indoor games will be planned.

Eagles’ Nest (Capture the Flag variation:)  Defend your nest of precious eggs while attempting to steal more from the opposing team.  Success depends on a blend of strategy, stealth, diversions, team cooperation, high-speed chases and a large dose of fun.

Frisbee Golf:  They are playing golf, but instead of golf balls and clubs they use their hands and Frisbees.  The students will use their eye-hand coordination to throw the Frisbee towards the “hole” and see how many times it takes to get there.

9 Sky in the Air:  Imagine a game that is a cross between 4 Square and Volleyball with the squares above your head!  This is a fun, active game that requires a minimum of 9 players.

Available Lessons
Evening Activities

These recreation activities are designed to end the day with a time of fun and relaxation.

Awe-stronomy: Learn about the wonders of the universe and see just how much is contained in the simple words … and God made the stars also.  (Genesis 1:16).   Learn about planets, stars, galaxies and more.  On clear nights the unit ends with an opportunity for star gazing and identifying constellations.

Night/Twilight Hike:  Enjoy an evening stroll along Walcamp’s trails.  Each hike is a unique opportunity to see sunsets, stars, animals bedding down for the night–or just waking up!  There may even be a brief opportunity to hike in the moonlight without flashlights!

Owl Prowl:  Students discuss the lifestyles of owls and learn about the kinds of owls living in Illinois.  They also conduct a scientific study by dissecting owl pellets, identifying and categorizing the contents to determine owl eating habits.

Bible Scavenger Hunt:  The students will get the chance to better learn about the campgrounds and what it has to offer.  Students will be given a clue list of things to find within a time limit.

Active Indoor Games:  While these games take place indoors, there is plenty of action (space permitting).

Quiet Indoor Games:  A quiet end to a busy day.  Students play low-key games like checkers, Uno, Jenga, Camp Trivia or other indoor board games.

Flashlight Tag:  Played at night, this game mixes the popular games hide and seek with tag.  The person who is “it” waits at the jail counting to a high number while everyone else hides.  Then, armed with a flashlight this person searches for the others who may be switching hiding spots.

Win, Lose, or Draw:  Participants show off their artistic abilities by drawing objects based on sightings, activities, and knowledge gained throughout the week, while their classmates compete to see which team can guess what is being drawn first.  Artistic talent NOT required!

Wacky Olympics:  A playful twist on the ancient Greek athletic events.  Students are divided into teams and try their abilities at different events including a Pool Noodle Javelin Throw, 50-yard Ping-Pong Dash, the 20lb Paper Shot-Put and more!  Both indoor and outdoor variations are available.

S’mores:  marshmallows roasting on an open fire then sandwiched between chocolate and graham crackers for an all-time favorite evening snack!

FAQ

Do you have questions about registration, schedules… or just about camp in general? Well, here are the answers to some of the questions most-often asked.

What should students bring for a water unit? Walcamp’s Pond and River units are designed with the intent –weather permitting– for students to be in the water while they explore. They will need to bring old clothes, (perhaps a swimsuit for underneath), and extra shoes that they can get wet. Crocs or sandals with a heel strap are acceptable, but flip-flops and shoes that are not securely fastened will get lost in the mud. You may also want extra plastic bags for wet clothes items.

Why are Walcamp instructors required for archery? Walcamp requires that all “potential risk” equipment and activities be facilitated by Walcamp staff according to strict ACA standards. Groups may choose to bring their own equipment for the range rather than having a Walcamp instructor. Walcamp equipment may only be used under the supervision of our staff to ensure a high level of safety for your students during the activity.

Can we use our own Canoeing units? Yes! Many schools bring their own unit worksheets, and having your own canoeing instructor is fine. According to ACA, a Walcamp lifeguard will be on duty during actual canoeing time and may implement additional safeguards if they become necessary.

Can we bring our own lifeguards? Typically not. Walcamp lifeguards are certified through the American Red Cross and have received additional training in the procedures and equipment specific for this location. However, a group may use their own Red Cross certified lifeguards provided they bring their card with them and are briefed in Walcamp waterfront policies by our staff.

Can our students bring electronics? Outdoor Ed schools have the freedom to permit or restrict use of iPods, cell phones, CD players, portable games and cameras during their visit. We do ask that boomboxes and portable DVD players be left at home as a courtesy to our other guests (though teachers can bring one for educational uses). During units led by Walcamp staff we strongly discourage electronics use as it can be detrimental to the experience. If you are unable to find answers to your questions here, please email office@walcamp.org or call 815.784.5141 with questions regarding programs, schedules, or registration.

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