WINTHROPBy Ashley Lodato

Despite having a week that was forecast to be wettish, the annual sixth-grade campout took place under reasonably clear skies. With days spent out and about gallivanting and exploring in the North Cascades and nights snuggled in wall tents at Falls Creek up the Chewuch, the 30 or so sixth-graders had a great time in the big wide wilderness classroom.

The first day they went canoeing at Buck Lake and then retired to their Falls Creek campsite, where a cadre of parents cooked hamburgers for dinner. With an outdoor theater consisting of hay bale seats and a flatbed trailer for a stage, the students split up into groups and created and performed original skits.

On Wednesday, fueled by an egg/bacon/sausage breakfast, the entire class hiked the Maple Pass trail – one of the few times when every person made it around the whole loop (often a subset of the class does the shorter Rainy Pass hike).

It was cold, the kids report, and there was even a little snow flurry when they were near Heather Pass. A couple of marmots and a pica comprised the wildlife sightings on the hike. After a spaghetti dinner back at camp, local musician Lauralee Northcott came out and sang western songs with the kids around the campfire.

The final day was spent eating pancakes for breakfast and then doing some plant identification with Methow Natives’ (and sixth-grade parent) Rob Crandall and Methow Naturalist editor/writer Dana Visalli. Archery lessons with the valley’s foremost youth archery instructors, Kim Claussen and Sandy Welfelt, followed.

Other kid news comes from Travis Grialou, who took over Taylor Woodruff’s role as a major player in Little Star Montessori School’s fundraising efforts. Travis recently completed his summer goal of running 50 miles and biking 150 miles to raise $2,000 for Little Star’s scholarship fund. Travis has $1,890 in pledges and is hoping to raise the final few dollars to make one Little Star family’s scholarship package just a little sweeter. If you’re interested in sponsoring Travis’s efforts, you can get a message to him through Little Star at 996-2801.

And to complete the kid-focused column for this week, I’m going to share a cute story I overheard recently. Susy Zuch was taking care of her 4-year-old neighbor, Isolde O’Driscoll, and was on the floor playing dominos with her. “C’mon,” Susy says to Isolde, “I know you’re sitting on a pair of eights over there.” At which point Isolde gets up and peers under her bottom. Kids are nothing if not literal.