Reviewer: Samuel Roldán, age 11
What made the experience stand out?
I went to sleepaway camp for the first time this year and it was a very different experience because I was with my fifth grade class instead of any family members. It was near Sulphur, which is about three hours from my school. The camp was all about nature, outdoor sports and native people’s traditions, all of which stand out from my usual life. No electronics, like phones or tablets, were allowed.
What was the best part?
I really liked being outside and going on a long hike through all kinds of terrain, through a forest and up hills. We also tried out rowboats. Digging for fossils was my favorite part because we were able to keep everything we found. I brought home fossilized trilobites, brachiopods and crinoids, which look like lilies.
What was the worst part?
Camp lasted from Tuesday to Friday but I wish I could’ve stayed more time. I didn’t feel homesick at all.
Will other kids like about Goddard Youth Camp?
Yes. I think it’s hard for some kids who miss their parents and miss playing on their phones too much but I didn’t feel that way. If you like exercise and doing things outside like archery, this is the camp for you! There are cabins and it feels kind of old-fashioned.
Would this venue be enjoyed by your siblings? Why or why not?
They’re way too little to go because they’re just 6 and 3. What you can do at the camp depends on your age. There were younger children at the camp but I think it’s more fun when you’re older and are able to do things.
If you could do this again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would have been more careful about time. I’m not used to wearing a watch so it was easy to be late to classes and meet-ups. Being safe during the water sports is really important, even though you have to wear a life jacket; it’s important not to row out too far. I would also get a good walking stick on the trails from the very beginning.
Does anything you learned match up with what you’re doing in school or have seen on TV, in a book or somewhere else before?
Yes, I’ve done archery and rowing before but it was new to have the whole camp experience.
What do you think you’ll remember most about Goddard Youth Camp?
The geology portion was the most interesting part to me. I’ll always remember finding my first fossils. Some of them are really old and I might have been the first human to touch those things. It’s very strange to think they were alive too. You can use tools like a pickaxe and work at getting them out. The only other place I’ve used a pickaxe is Minecraft; this is much better than that because it’s real life.