River View creates lasting bonds with sixth grade camp at Camp Ohio

| August 31, 2017

WARSAW – River View Local Schools has valued the outdoor recreation experience for a long time at Camp Ohio.

The Camp Ohio experience for the sixth graders of the RV district is instrumental in creating a lasting bond with classmates and teachers alike. This invaluable program was started in 1978 by RV teacher

Sandy Knuth and is still going strong. Students actively participate in nine separate classes during the daytime throughout the week as well as group activities during the evenings. The campers quickly develop a close relationship with their high school counselors who protect and nurture them during the week. Many tears are shed when the campers leave Camp Ohio on Friday as they are saying their goodbyes to their counselors.

Current Camp Director Brad Baker had this to say about the camp experience, “I taught sixth grade at

Keene for seven years and can honestly say that Camp Ohio week was easily the most enjoyable week of the entire year. I valued this program as a teacher so much that I decided to keep it going strong as the camp director.” Baker, along with other support staff and teachers from around the district, put together a program that promotes camaraderie amongst the students even though they come from all four elementary buildings.

Students get to attend educational sessions on nine different topics including: Creeking, canoeing, zipping/rock climbing, fishing, riflery, tie dye, phys. ed., rockets, and roller coasters. This gives students a chance to do something out of the ordinary and build character through teamwork and overcoming adversity. It is a great chance for students to stay overnight at a camp and gain some independence (many are doing this for the first time). Students bond with each other and their counselors during the week and create lasting friendships to carry over to their junior and senior high school years.

Jarred Renner, principal at Union ES, said this of the camp, “Camp Ohio holds a lot of memories for me personally, so I know it can be a great place for our students to make some of those same memories. It is important for our students to go as a whole district, and we do our best to make sure all of our Union students get to attend. We do fundraisers and get sponsors to help with the fees each year. The students know it is important because they got to see how excited last year’s group was when they got back from camp.”

One often unnoticed aspect of the camp is the great character building for the high school students who attend the camp as counselors. Chuck Rinkes, RVHS principal, said it was a great experience for his students as well, “Being a sixth grade camp counselor is both a privilege and learning experience for River View High School students. Counselors are great examples of good character, responsibility and leadership. High school students understand it is privilege to be a sixth grade camp counselor and look forward to the positive impact and relationships that they build with campers.”

River View’s camp is Sept. 5-8 this year. If you are interested in being a sponsor for a student in need or for supplies used at camp, contact Jarred Renner at 740-327-2351 or e-mail [email protected]

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