Wildwood Winners

A primary mission of Johnson County Pheasants Forever Chapter is to see children enjoy the outdoors and instill a personal land ethic as part of our “No Child Left Indoors” program. This goal is the essence of building a conservation legacy, which we can leave to our children — one so strong that it will endure for generations.

With this goal in mind we’ve been happy to sponsor a group of local six grade students to assist in their ability to attend Camp Wildwood. As part of our sponsorship of the Wildwood Activity, we would like all participants to complete this activity summary sheet so that we can understand what the students are learning by their participation and to make sure that we are achieving our goal.  In addition, we will be reviewing all answers to the questions and picking several essays that will be posted on our website and possibly published in our Pheasants Forever Journal (a quarterly magazine) or other media. The students with a winning essay will be recognized in class and at our annual banquet.

OBJECTIVES: During your trip to Wildwood, you will learn a lot about “Mother Nature” by watching animals, doing activities, and being in the outdoors.  Sight, smell, sound, touch and taste will be ways in which to gather information.  In this activity, we ask students to assume roles as “Outdoor Investigators” and solve mysteries of the natural world, then report in depth what they have experienced and uncovered in the mysterious outdoors.

BACKGROUND: An example of this investigative instinct can be found in Aldo Leopold’s essay, “The Green Pasture” from Sand County Almanac where he describes observations he made in nature while viewing the colors and patterns formed in the silt and sand bars within a river.  Wildwood is located at a lake that is connected to a river.  Areas of land along the lake/river are greatly influenced by changes in water level.  Animals are attracted to rivers/lakes because of the availability of food and water.  Making direct observations of animal behavior might lead you on the right “track” or relying on indirect observations may be more “insightful”.  Remember, evidence might be “planted” right in front of you.

We asked students to write a short essay in which they should answer a series of questions about their impressions about camp and how they solved an outdoor mystery. Out of the dozens of submissions, we chose our favorites and chose winners from each class.

Congrats to all the future outdoor writers!

The Great Outdoors by Alexis Strauss

Respecting Nature by Alison Huddleston

The Cool Outdoor School by Anna Farmer

What’s, why’s and wow’s of WildWood by Abbey Heller

Wildwood by Taylor Pflumm

Wildwood Reflection by Lauren Londeen

Memorable Moments at Wildwood by Meara Roach

Wildwood by Seth Bowman

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