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Outdoor School At Camp Tadmor: Educators, Volunteers And Kids On Why They Keep Coming Back


To the teachers and kids at Harrison Elementary, taking a four-day outdoor school each spring means a year of fundraising, preparation and excited expectation. We went to Camp Tadmor, in Lebanon, and asked why they keep coming back every year.

 

Teachers and kids at Harrison Elementary in Cottage Grove spend the entire school year fundraising for just a four-day trip in May. But those four days at Camp Tadmor in Lebanon — spent canoeing, fishing, studying wildlife and environments, and doing team-building activities — leave an impression on kids that can last a lifetime, say leaders and teachers who have come back year after year for decades.

Think Out Loud went to Camp Tadmor on May 26 to find out what learning outdoors does for kids and why adults have such affection for outdoor school.


 

Dave Bertz, director of operations at Camp Tadmor.

Dave Bertz, director of operations at Camp Tadmor.

Scott Greenstone/OPB

 

We talk to Dave Bertz, the director of Camp Tadmor who lives on-site, about the camp itself and his experience growing up without much exposure to nature.


 

Allison Lillard, fifth-grade teacher at Harrison Elementary and Outdoor School coordinator for the school.

Allison Lillard, fifth-grade teacher at Harrison Elementary and Outdoor School coordinator for the school.

Scott Greenstone/OPB

 

Allison Lillard is a fifth-grade teacher at Harrison Elementary in Cottage Grove. She went to Camp Tadmor for the first time as a kid at Harrison, volunteered there through high school and now coordinates Harrison’s entire program every year.


 

Dan Prince, coordinator of Multnomah Education Service District's Outdoor School program.

Dan Prince, coordinator of Multnomah Education Service District's Outdoor School program.

Scott Greenstone/OPB

 

Dan Prince is Multnomah County Education Service District‘s Outdoor School coordinator and also a father whose kids’ lives have been changed by their mentors at Oregon outdoor schools.

 

 

Many of the Harrison Elementary students and the counselors at Camp Tadmor shared their experiences with us as well.

About fifty Harrison Elementary school students, and some teachers and student counselors showed up during the "rest hour" for the taping, and we heard from a lot of them during the hour.

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