Musson Fifth Grade Outdoor Education Camp

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Hamlin Fifth Grade Outdoor Education Camp
October 20th, 21st, 22nd 2014

Camp Michindoh

Hillsdale, Michigan

Parent Information Packet

Camp informational meeting: Thursday, September 18th at 7:00 PM before Curriculum Night

Primary Goal: To provide students with an outstanding outdoor education experience

  1. To achieve hands-on state-mandated Science and Social Studies outcomes

  2. To introduce and enhance outdoor skills and natural/cultural history

  3. To practice cooperative problem solving, sharing responsibility, contributing ideas, listening, and giving support and encouragement to group members

Basic Information

  • Cost – Approximately $165 per student (exact cost TBD), adult chaperones pay $62.

  • Forms – permission slip and medical form for prescription and “over the counter” medication (if medical forms are not already on file in the office).

  • Chaperones are needed to help monitor students during planned activities and overnight in cabins

Hillsdale is located 5 miles south of US-12 on Michigan Highway 99 (M-99). Michindoh is located approximately 4 miles east of Hillsdale on East Bacon Road. A map is located below.

Address and Number

Michindoh Outdoor Education School

4545 E. Bacon Road

Hillsdale, MI 49242

(517) 523-3616
Emergency Facilities

Hillsdale Community Health Center

168 South Howell Street

Hillsdale, Michigan 49242


Staff attending from Hamlin will include: Mr. van Staveren and all Hamlin 5th grade teachers. Activities will be led and taught by Michindoh staff.

Living Arrangements

Hickory Hills Cabins located on the hillside of the east campus. Each cabin has two dormitory type rooms furnished with bunk beds and containing restroom with showers. There are a total of fourteen rooms with a capacity of 186 (5 rooms with l4 beds, 7 rooms with 12 beds and 2 rooms with 16 beds). Linens are not provided. Cabins are within a short walk of all recreational areas and facilities. (picture is located below)

Meals and Dining Room

The Dining Hall is located in the Weatherwood Center. The students will have buffet meals with at least one adult at each table of seven students. They provide quality food and plenty of it.

Examples of Hamlin Outdoor Education Camp Activities
Living History

Students will gain a better understanding of historical life of the pioneer in the early 1800’s. They will interact with characters from the time period as a family group traveling to the area to settle. They will use first person interaction to learn the practical needs of that time. To help survive the students will be learning about pioneer tools, make butter, and hand dip candles.

Adventure Challenge

The Adventure Challenge uses low ropes type initiatives to help students develop teamwork, communication, cooperation, and motor skills. Students will be given a variety of mental and physical obstacles that they must work together to successfully complete.


Children seem to show a keen interest in mammals. They often use the word animal to mean mammal. There are more types of wild mammals living in this area than most people suspect. The purpose of this class is to acquaint students with some of the wild mammals in the area and some of the habitats. Central to the entire class is the use of mammal study skins to illustrate the relative size, similarities and differences of various wild mammals.

Reptiles and Amphibians

The Reptile and Amphibians class is designed to increase the student’s knowledge and appreciation for both native and exotic reptiles and amphibians. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a discussion about the characteristics of reptiles and amphibians and then have a chance to hold many of the animals.

Creepy Critters

Most students know what an insect is, but often group other animals in with the insect class. This class is designed to introduce students to the phylum Arthropoda, and describe the five main classes in the phylum Arachnida, Insecta, Chilopoda, Diplopoda, and Crustacea. Students will also have the opportunity to observe and touch many live and preserved species.

Typical Schedule of Activities

Prior to arrival at camp, Hamlin students will be divided into groups of approximately 10 students per group. These will be activity groups that will rotate to each activity. Each group will need at least two parent chaperones. Hamlin staff will oversee all groups. Activities will be led and taught by the specialists from Michindoh. The following represents a sample schedule:
Monday Leave @ 8:30 AM

Arrive @ 11:30 AM

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM check in/unpack

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM lunch

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM class

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM class

4:00 PM – 5:15 PM activities

5:30 PM – 6:45 PM dinner

7:15 PM - 9:00 PM evening program

9:00 PM - 10:00 PM get ready for bed

10:00 PM lights out
Tuesday 7:45 AM – 9:00 AM breakfast

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM class

10:30 PM – 11:30 PM class

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM lunch

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM class

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM class

4:00 PM – 5:15 PM activities

5:30 PM – 6:45 PM dinner

7:15 PM - 9:00 PM evening program

9:00 PM - 10:00 PM get ready for bed

10:00 PM lights out
Wednesday 7:45 AM – 9:00 AM breakfast

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM class

10:30 PM – 11:30 PM class

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM lunch

1:30 depart

Frequently Asked Questions
How are cabin leaders selected? The cabin leaders are selected by a school representative and all screening is done by the school as well as an ICHAT background check.
How are cabins assigned? Cabins are assigned by the teachers and they typically make sure that your child is with at least one friend.
Do girls and boys stay in the same area? No. The cabins are spaced out with a small grass area and we do our best to make sure that the space is always respected.
Is there security that patrols the area at night? There are 10 resident families that live in different areas of the camp. If someone comes onto grounds that are not recognized by any of those families, the staff check out who they are and take appropriate action. The outdoor Education School staff also lives on the grounds and helps maintain a secure campground.
What kind of down time do the campers have? We fill their day and allow for very little down time. After dinner the campers have a little time just to hang out in their cabins or play a game as a small group. The general rule is that if the camper is not with an adult, they are in the wrong place.
What type of meals are served? Our meals are served with 5th graders in mind. The teachers have been given a list of sample meals served which they can share with you. There is cereal at every breakfast and a fruit and salad bar at lunch and dinner.
What if my child is a vegetarian? If your child is a vegetarian please make they know in order to plan for other food options.
What is the best way to label their belongings? The best thing to do is to write on the tag of clothing with a permanent marker. For other items such as cameras and flashlights, please write your child’s name with a permanent marker on an area that is visible. If they pack their sleeping bag/blankets in a plastic garbage bag , make sure that it is clearly labeled and or decorated so they can locate it easily. Pack an extra bag for them to put their sleeping bag/blankets into for the trip home since the first one usually gets torn on the first day.
What does a typical day look like? The campers wake up a 6:45 and get ready for the day. They also have to clean their cabins before flag raising at 7:30. They eat breakfast and then go to two classes before lunch. After lunch at 12:00 they go to two more classes. After the second class in the afternoon, the campers have afternoon activity time where they pick from a variety of activities led by the staff. Dinner is served at 5:30 followed by an evening program. Evening programs may include a campfire, relay races, Wacky Olympics, skit night, or a square dance. They go back to the cabins at 9:00 to get ready for bed and lights out at 10:00. The Michindoh staff will rove the cabin area around that time to make sure that everything is quiet for the night.
What type of classes will they be going to? The classes are not typical school classes. Teachers pick the classes from a variety of science-based and team-building class options. Some of the most commonly picked classes are reptiles and amphibians, aquatic life, L.C.C. (Low challenge course; a team building class), ecosystems, outdoor living skills, mammals, and birds.
If you have any further questions, please ask your child’s teacher or your school principal. If they do not know the answer they can contact us at Michindoh, or you may contact us at (517) 523-3616 ext 240. We are looking forward to having your child with us at camp!
What to Pack
*Please note you will be limited to one suitcase and one bedroll. Please label all belongings with you name and school on them.
Bedding: You will need to bring a sleeping bag or 2-3 blankets and sheets. Please place your sleeping gear in plastic in order to keep it from getting wet. You may bring a pillow and pillowcase if you so choose. Be prepared for cool nights.
Clothing: We suggest students bring old but clean clothing. Clothing should be labeled. Below is a suggestion of what to bring:

  • Pair of pajamas

  • Two pairs of shoes with laces

  • Daily change of socks and underwear

  • Heavy and light shirts

  • Jacket and/or sweater

  • Tissues

  • Raincoat and waterproof shoes or boots

  • Two pairs of jeans or sweatpants

Toiletries: Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, bath towel, washcloth, comb or brush, deodorant, WATER BOTTLE, (in season – sun screen, chap-stick, insect repellent).
Optional: Flashlight, notebook, writing utensil, camera (disposable preferred)
PLEASE LEAVE AT HOME: FOOD AND CANDY!!! All electronics including cell phones, iPods/mp3 players, iPads/Tablets, handheld video games; money, card games, and jewelry are discouraged.
Remember the same rules that apply at school apply there.
If you would like to have your child receive a letter from you while at camp, please mail that by Monday, October 13th and be sure to put HAMLIN on the envelope.

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