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357 Top Ten Items for a Sixth Grader Camping Trip 2011-03-04

morning of the campout

Last weekend, my wife and I took her 6th Grade Advisory Class camping. Thirteen students braved the winter weather for the bragging right that they slept outside and were the 'coolest' Advisory ever.

My role in the camping extravaganza was to go early, set up the tents and ready the camp for the students. In a quiet, serene field Jake, the dog, and I waited in camp for the bus to arrive. As the doors opened, their excitement filled the camp. The quiet was replaced by kids just wanting to have fun. They threw their gear in the tents and began running. They were not running after anyone, and no one was after them, they were just running because they were outside and in a big field.

So if you are ever thinking of taking a class of sixth graders camping, here are Our Top Items for a Sixth Grade Camping Trip you will need to bring ...


10 - Food - this was perhaps the most important item. Bring food and lots of it.

9 - Camera - they love to have their pictures taken and capturing their fun will remind you of why you went camping with them.

8 - Restrooms - especially when camping in an open field, restrooms are crucial. The Park we visited had heated restrooms. A few of the girls claimed to have slept in the facilities for a brief time during the cold night!

7 - Dog - yes, our dog, Jake was important to the overall success of the campout. He cleaned up after the kids as they dropped food to the ground (Leave No Trace) and provided entertainment for all who were willing to play with him.

6 - Fire - it was winter and the fire brought warmth. They ate, sang, told stories, and played by the fire.

5 - Lights - headlamps, lanterns, and flashlights were precious commodities. It was dark. They needed lights to tame the creatures of the dark.

4 - Spares - though they were given a list of things to bring, almost every student lost or did not bring multiple things. They were always looking for someone's something or needing something. That's why you have to be able to improvise and bring extras.

3 - Marshmallows - ah, the joy of flaming processed sugar. It is just part of camping.

2 - Earplugs - this group went to their tents early; but then sang, yelled, got out of the tent, got in the tent, went to the restroom, ran around, talked - there was a lot of talking, and generally had fun for the rest of the night. The earplugs just dampen the shrills.

1 - Waffle House - what could be better than a night of camping than breakfast at Waffle House! They will remember those pancakes, waffles, and goofy hats for the rest of their lives. Of course we didn't really bring a Waffle House on the trip; but we did stop at one on the way home. It was a hit.


The camping trip was a good experience for the students and for my wife and I. Judging from her class, the future of America is promising. Just take them camping and you will see.

Happy Sixth Grade trails


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