The 6th Graders spent their final full days of school on a class camping trip to Hawn State Park near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, to experience the outdoors and build on the fellowship that they had developed over the year.
Students arrived at the park late in the morning on Wednesday and promptly began setting up camp at a group campsite in a spacious, open grove of trees. The grove featured a small stage and campfire ring which naturally became the group’s gathering place. Students went about setting up their shelters for the night, which ranged from 2-person tents to a monstrous 10-person yurt, which became known as the “Harry Potter tent.”
Day one included a variety of activities. Students started off by creating tie-dye shirts, socks or hats – whichever items the students chose to dye. As their garments were drying, students were asked to create a skit to perform around the campfire that evening. The students split into their advisories and began brainstorming and practicing their skits. Once finished, the students were split into groups for games and activities that included capture-the-flag, painting, hiking or a water gun fight.
“My favorite activity was definitely the water gun fight. I didn’t want to do it at first, but once we started it ended up being so much fun,” said Cass Goldring ’25.
“I dumped a bucket of water on one kid’s head and it started a complete war!” added Drake Noonan ’25.
After the day’s activities, students and their group leaders met back at the campground to dry out and start making dinner. As a student-led trip, they took leadership roles to prepare the meal. With the help and supervision of adults, students took over grilling and cooking for all 70 students which resulted in a feast of hot dogs, macaroni, fruits and vegetables.
The day ended around the campfire. Physical Education Teacher Brad Schaeffer demonstrated how to build a successful campfire using the “log cabin” method, and students roasted s’mores over the fire for dessert.
As the sun began to set, the mood was ripe for students to showcase their skits. One group of girls acted as if they were on a rickety roller-coaster, while a group of boys imagined they were finding shelter during tornado season – much to the laughter and enjoyment of their onlookers. Performances continued into the evening and included poetry readings, ukulele playing, singing and a mind-reading trick. As dark set in, it was time for bed.
Students awoke early on the final day of their trip and began on preparing a pancake breakfast, and then finished off the morning with group hikes and more capture-the-flag. Late in the morning, the buses arrived and students loaded up their gear for the trip back to St. Louis.
The end of the day back at MICDS was a return to creature comforts – pizza and a movie. It was a relaxing way to end their excursion into nature and the trip will surely create stronger bonds, a deeper appreciation for their natural world and lasting memories for the Class of 2025.