Stories from Trey Clayton (Program Director)

Two teachers and two Camptown staff found themselves oddly alone around the campfire after breakfast during an overnight trip with 6 boys from the Sheridan Youth Assistance Program. All having the same thought at the same time; missing kids are a bad sign and shenanigans were afoot. As they quickly scanned the area and noticed some kids were running, while the others were hiding behind trees or egging on the chase. One of the Sheridan teachers was the first to realize what was happening. “They’re playing.” He said as if it were a surprising realization. The students with all their diversity and differences, were playing a game of tag with everyone participating.

During post-breakfast (and tag) debrief, the teachers each touched on some of their observations about the trip. The teacher who had noted the students playing pointed that very thing out to them. What he had seen and summarized was simple: in lieu of playing on their phones or being distracted by everything else going on at home or school, the boys had come together and found something to do and done so cooperatively. The students had turned to play, and thus progressed to a bit of a new social awareness and ability to make something out of boredom. The benefit of the “wilderness” was that they adapted and made fun where others might see none!