CYO Camp Rancho Framasa has long been in the business of getting people outside. Well, it is not as much of a business model as it is part of the mission. The research is staggering that being outside does a human a world of good. Back in the nineties we started camp’s first outdoor education programming. It has evolved through the years and most recently, until a year ago, the structure mimicked what you might see in a classroom… a teaching, sharing facts, something to read and something to write…only all this was happening outside at camp.
What changed in this last year? Two of our staff members received a grant to attend a BEETLES’ training. With a little bit of knowledge and a whole lot of eager to learn they attended a weeklong institute to learn how to teach in the outdoors differently. We fondly refer to this as Beetle—izing the curriculum.
What is BEETLES?
From their website:
BEETLES is Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing
BEETLES has the following beliefs, ideas, and values:
We use best practices in science education to inspire wonder and curiosity about the natural world.
BEETLES resources are built around five primary design principles.
Engage Directly with Nature
Think Like a Scientist
Learn through Discussions
Experience Instruction Based on How People Learn
Participate in inclusive, equitable, and culturally relevant learning environments
We see BEETLES as a perfect fit for us and our participants. The goal is to get kids excited and build confidence around science learning and what better way is there than experiencing in it firsthand at CYO CAMP?
So, we have been stepping into the BEETLES model of outdoor teaching and it works! If you are planning a trip to camp either summer or school year you may notice this change and we think you will like it.
Here is what one group had to say about their BEETLES experience after being at CYO Camp:
“I loved climbing up the hill and building a fire. I loved the bones of the different animals. Skipping stones and painting faces with the rocks was educational. We were able to tie so much of this to Indiana history and the way of life with the Indians.”
“I loved the freedom of just letting the kids run and explore... They had a blast on the slide and just running in the woods.”
“I feel like the entire experience was magical to these children. Many have never been in the woods before or gone hiking so the joy to be in such a space was a gift for me to experience.”
Interested in knowing more? Click the Beetles link: http://beetlesproject.org/about/ and/or sign a group up for camp!
Angi K. Sullivan
Camp is such an unique experience! Our staff take turns sharing their perspectives of the experience that is CYO Camp Rancho Framasa!
Hot off the press…
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