Common App Essay

676 words - 3 pages

Under the immensity of the old-growth trees and the persistently precipitating sky, my place of contentment can be found. It is a place for arthropod finders, weather predictors, deer watchers, rain pants and the occasionally educational Star Wars discussion. This place might just look like a couple dozen cabins and a dinning hall, but Outdoor School is so much more than that.        
 Camp Howard Outdoor School is located in the Douglas fir forest of Corbett, Oregon.  It is a program that offers a week of outdoor education to sixth grade classes. While the sixth graders engage in a week of hands on learning, the program is offered to high school students as well.  We have the opportunity to go out to these woodland campsites and teach the lessons.  While not everyone is a fan of living in cabins of snoring twelve year-olds, and trying to guide them through the forest during torrential rain pours, I love it.  I love the program so much so I have returned five times.  I complete all potential missed work ahead of time, then take one week off school each semester in order to help students grow over the course of six days. However, it is neither the trees nor the campfires that make Outdoor School my place of perfect contentment.  It is the sense of community and respect that is built between strangers coming from four different schools over the course of one week.  
Last spring, a student named Briana struggled to understand concepts and follow rules; she needed extra help and I fell into the role of assisting her.  Briana and I would spend extra time going over lessons and when group games became overwhelming we would sit out together.  Campfires were especially a struggle.  Briana was unable to sit through a single campfire without throwing a tantrum and disrupting the surrounding students.  The first night, I panicked.  I had never experienced a student act so unreasonably.  I took a deep breath...

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