CEE Visits Nature Based Camp at Camp Tontozona

 

In September, CEE took the entire Junior High to Camp Tontozona. The retreat, a leadership and education center adjacent to Tonto National Forest near Payson, is managed by Tonto Creek Camps, a Scottsdale non-profit devoted to increasing children’s experiences outdoors. The camps have a nature-based curriculum centered on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, with the intent of fostering critical thinking and inspiring students to solve problems. Faculty and students from Arizona State University write curriculum and teach the classes. CEE is very honored to have been invited to participate in this wonderful program! Besides the fantastic activities, the value of the bonding experience for our students is invaluable!

Here are what some students had to say about their experience:

Lily

Q. Tell us about your trip to Camp Tontozona?

A. No words for how much fun it was! The cabins were comfortable and the fresh smell of nature was wonderful!

Q. What was your most memorable experience during camp?

A. Laughing and giggling at the big open field and experiencing nature.

Q. What type of educational things did you learn?

A. Art and nature class, hiking and learning about all the different patterns found in nature. Finding all the differing types of rock formations in this part of Arizona. We searched for special rocks and then painted them to leave at the camp in honor of CEE.

Q. What was your favorite non-educational thing you did during this camp?

A. My favorite activity was the low ropes course! We practiced team building skills while our guide made it fun by having us pretend to be in Nepal and Africa helping our children in their villages that we sponsor.

Avery

Q. Tell us about your trip to Camp Tontozona?

A. SO much fun!!! I loved the open grass area where I could run and scream! Loved hiking and roasting marshmallows at the campfire. They served delicious food!

Q. What was your most memorable experience during camp?

A. Scaring one another! (In fun)

Q. What type of educational things did you learn?

A. It was really interesting learning about the different rock formations and searching for them while hiking! Seeing how erosion plays a big part in finding how old rocks are.

Q. What was your favorite non-educational thing you did during this camp?

A. The low ropes course was a blast! It was fun team building with my friends and working together to solve problems.

Lily and Avery are both sixth graders at Center for Educational Excellence.

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