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    End of Year
    By Amanda K.

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    I'm not sure how involved you want to get, but at my school, all the first grade classes get together for Camp Rio Vista (Rio Vista is the name of our school). This happens the last week or so of school. We get the parents to donate money for Camp t-shirts, even. And each class gets to make a camp banner for their room. Some of us really go all out and pitch tents in our classrooms.

    During the morning, we rotate the classes among activities in all the rooms... each teacher gets to choose a fun camp-type activity to do. I like to make bead necklaces. Other teachers do things like make wildlife dioramas, painting rocks, writing scary stories. We have five classes, and so it takes 3 days to get through the rotations, doing 2 classes a morning. This year, we're trying to pick fun social studies or science related things to do.

    In the afternoon, we watch a movie and sing camp songs. On one morning of the week, we have a Water Day, where parent volunteers come in and help the kids rotate through 5 water activities, including a large wading pool, sponge and bucket relays, and things of that nature. We also have a barbecue, with parents donating money or food. Since we live on a (mostly dry) river, we also hike down to the river for an hour or so one morning.

    Anyway, our camp is pretty involved and has taken years to evolve to its current point, but it's a tradition at our school. We always order large Camp shirts so that the kids can wear them when they get older. Going to Camp Rio Vista has become almost a rite of passage at our school.

    You could probably do something along those lines on a smaller scale with your class, or with another class if they are so inclined. It's a lot of work and prep time, but it's so much fun for the kids.



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