Dec. 7, 2018
Student's Generosity Helps Others Attend 6th Grade Camp
William Robinson is a shining example of inspiration. 

The sixth grader at Flora Vista Elementary in Encinitas not only raised enough money for himself to attend 6th grade camp, but also for two other students to attend.

William played his saxophone in various locations around town with a sign that read “Hoping to go to 6th grade camp. Donations welcome.” He earned the $350 needed to go to camp. And then some. He donated the extra money he earned so that other students could attend camp. 

For his efforts, William was recognized by the San Diego County Office of Education and NBC 7 San Diego as their Inspirational Student of the Month.

Cuyamaca Outdoor School Principal Receives Van Arsdale Award of Merit
Cuyamaca Outdoor School Principal Greg Schuett was recently honored by the Community Campership Council with the William E. Van Arsdale Award of Merit.

Schuett, who has worked for the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) for nearly 30 years, says the most rewarding part of his job is listening to the visiting classroom teachers every Friday tell him how their students were transformed by the experience at Cuyamaca Outdoor School, known to more than 1 million alumni as 6th Grade Camp.

The award was established in 1993 in honor of Bill Van Arsdale, a past president of the Council and past director of SDCOE's Outdoor Education program. The award honors qualities Van Arsdale, who passed away in 1989, exemplified in his life: professional leadership, dedication to the welfare of children, and belief that young people should have an outdoor learning experience as an important part of their education.

Cuyamaca Outdoor School Opens Doors at Annual Open House 
Nearly 1,200 people descended upon Cuyamaca Outdoor School earlier this year to learn more about the county’s original 6th Grade Camp. 

Attendees rock climbed, interacted with birds and nature, ate in the cafeteria, and enjoyed a day in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. 

"Open house is a great way for parents to get to know camp ahead of their child's weeklong visit with their school," said Bob Mueller, executive director of Outdoor Education and Student Support Services for SDCOE. He added that it’s also a great way for alumni to reconnect with 6th Grade Camp.

Cuyamaca Outdoor School has been holding the annual open house for 20 years. Principal Greg Schuett said that it started small, with about 100 people, but has grown to nearly 1,200 in each of the last three years.

“It’s very heartwarming to see how much this program means to families in San Diego County,” Schuett said. He added that generations of families have been coming to camp. They exchange stories about what they did at camp, and share advice on how to be successful and enjoy the experience, he said.

For many students, it’s their first time away from home, and either the student or the parents are a little nervous. Schuett said that the Open House is a great way to help both feel more comfortable about the trip. 

Attendees had the opportunity to tour the facility, which included the science rooms and cabins, talk with the nurses, nutritionists, and other staff about any concerns they may have, and ask questions about the program. 
Collaboration Helps Migrant Students Go to Camp
Two teams at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) recently worked together to double the number of students who attended a summertime science program at Camp Palomar. The North County site maintained by SDCOE was once used for 6th Grade Camp and is now used mostly for event rentals.

"These kids don't often get the opportunity to experience being in the wilderness, never mind attending science camp or even being away from home," explained Migrant Education Program Advocate Carmela Vasquez.

The problem was, due to the cost, only about 90 students were able to participate in the program each year.

Camp is Within Reach for All Students
The San Diego County Board of Education has made it easier to give students a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Cuyamaca Outdoor School. The fee schedule includes an equity credit designed to help schools provide substantial assistance to students who are identified as socio-economically disadvantaged, as well as an array of discounts that can be combined to make camp even more affordable. 

To learn more, contact the Outdoor Education team to schedule a presentation about attending camp, or talk with one of our representatives about the experience, fundraising ideas, and more. Contact Dustin Burns by email or at 858-292-3690.
T his periodic newsletter will keep you up-to-date on Cuyamaca Outdoor School:
The Original 6th Grade Camp