Camp Pioneer is the place.
For over 10 years now, the Randolph County Outdoor Education Program (RCOEP), held at Beverly, WV's Camp Pioneer, has been a staple of TMI's yearly programming as well as a highlight of the fifth grade year for hundreds of West Virginia students. Combining local history, science, art, music, and technical skills, the program does exactly what outdoor education should: allowing kids to learn in a dynamic, surprising, and constantly evolving environment. Whether tackling an orienteering exercise or checking the PH levels of Tygart Creek, the participants in this program are combining classroom-style academic information with the hands on aspects you can only get when wading in a stream or tromping across a field. And when you factor in "Everybody's It" - a key RCOEP free time activity that is simply the greatest off shoot of Tag ever been created - you have something nearing perfection.
The local media agrees. Take a minute to check out this story. Sometimes the fact that you just might be having an impact somewhere down the line - be it near or far - is exactly what it takes to to push one to really commit to a project . Who knows which one of the fifth graders attending this year's program might end up on the board of directors of an environmental policy leader or a key member of a non-profit committed to showing kids that it's still worth getting outside and into the woods? You never know. And we at TMI will continue to do what we can to give kids a chance to discover the outdoors - through science, art, or music - making it something they will eventually focus on and grow connected to.