Thursday, March 21, 2013

Clear Lake Camp

When I was in sixth grade, our class spent five days at Clear Lake camp. I think it was supposed to be some kind of super-field trip, only the counselors seemed pretty ignorant. At the time, I thought they were students at one of the nearby teacher’s colleges putting in token time. With no one supervising them, they didn’t do anything.

One young man did mention plants have xylem and phloem. Those are words an eleven-year-old can remember. They have the right nonsense value and are impossible to spell. Oddly, the terms were never mentioned in any biology class I had after that. Maybe the teachers were afraid to mispronounce them. I always waited for the moment to learn more. So, that was the science highlight of the week.

The low point was being sent into a gravel quarry to look for fossils and arrowheads. This was glacial remains country. I doubt you find many artifacts in crushed metamorphic granite or eroding quartz. At least we didn’t. We just spent a couple hours in the hot sun.

The songs I remember singing are "Little Tommy Tinker," "Puffer Billies," and "Mrs. O’Leary."

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