For the second year in a row, Healdton fourth- and fifth-grade classes closed their books, step away from their desks and loaded up onto the school buses Wednesday morning headed for Healdton Lake.
About 70 students “unplugged” from their regular school day lives and embarked on a day of lessons teaching them how to use a compass, create an arrowhead by flintknapping stones, compete in archery, take an interactive look into agriculture and more.
Wednesday marked the second annual Environment Camp, a one-day camp giving students a chance for being up close and personal with their environment, said Marcia Bowden, a retired teacher from Ardmore City Schools who organized the event. The Healdton Industrial Authority, which oversees Healdton Lake, hosted the event for the students.
Volunteers from the community, Noble Foundation, Healdton Public Schools and more helped provide the activities for the students that gave them a chance to get outside, get active and explore the wonders of nature.
One station invited the students to learn about mankind’s oldest craft: flintknapping. Led by Mark Means, students were shown how to use tools to create arrowheads.
Another station, taught by Herb Collier, director of the Healdton Industrial Authority, reviewed basic first aid practices.
“We go over practical things like how to bandage a wound, splits and how to treat bites and stings,” Collier said.
The Noble Foundation also participated in the program, bringing its mobile agriculture education trailer for the Grown For You program that highlights commodity crops in Oklahoma.
Students also had some hands-on time, practicing compass reading with Denny Alexander and taking turns shooting archery with instruction by Healdton High School students.
Fifth-grade student Kaylee Johnson says she hit the target mat, but not the bull’s-eye, when she had her chance to shoot archery.
“It was really fun,” Johnson said. “I have done archery before, but only at camp.”
Other students said Environment Camp was a great change of pace from the typical day in the classroom.
“Everything is really new and exciting,” fifth-grader Rhyleigh Thomsen said. “We don’t do things like this at school.”