Many Smiles at Fifth Grade Mini-Camp

On Wednesday, the Class of 2030 enjoyed a day filled with fun activities at the annual Fifth Grade Mini-Camp. This tradition started over 20 years ago when current Head of Middle School Jen Schuckman was a fifth-grade teacher. Ever since then, our youngest Middle Schoolers have embraced the day to bond, connect, and enjoy life as fifth graders.

Ms. Schuckman shared how the idea of Mini-Camp came to be well over 20 years ago: “We wanted to honor the fifth graders’ transition to Middle School, we wanted to give them a break from classes after the opening weeks of school, and there were some orientation pieces that we wanted to present in a fun way—the scavenger hunt to learn campus, a quiz show to learn the handbook, name games to get to know classmates, etc. We also did advisory activities to build those connections,” Ms. Schuckman explains.

“We hope the fifth graders enjoy a fun day together and strengthen friendships and their community,” said Kristina Jones, Middle School Math Teacher. Fifth Grade Dean and Middle School Spanish Teacher Christine Mayer echoed this sentiment: “We see this as an opportunity for students to find out what is special about everyone, unravel some of the things we have in common, meet new people, work in teams, generate school spirit, and have some fun.”

That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday when school spirit was palpable during Mini-Camp day. True to camp form, students participated in a variety of rotations and tapped into creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. While decked out in their Homecoming t-shirts for Spirit Week, they laughed and smiled through the festive events that offered a change of pace from the normal school day.

This year’s Mini-Camp sessions included art stations, a cup stacking station, and an escape room, overseen by the fifth-grade teaching team. In one activity, students brought an item to share that was special to them and important to their identity. In another, they drew a name of a classmate and made an uplifting sign for their locker. Students also enjoyed lunch outside in the sunshine and finished off the day with an MICDS scavenger hunt.

Izzie Martin ’30 shared about what she loved about the day. “My favorite part of Mini-Camp was the scavenger hunt,” she stated. “I thought it was so much fun to do a team activity while exploring the school. I learned more about my classmates when I was in my art group which contained boys. I got to learn about them because we rarely share classes. It was very fun to do other activities other than class because it was sort of just a fun day where I got to spend time with my classmates.”

Schuckman added, “Overall, it was a fun class celebration that has been a fifth-grade tradition now for 20+ years. As new teachers have joined the team, they have each put their spin on it to keep it fresh and fun!”

That’s a wrap on Mini Camp 2022! Lights out, everyone!