Bothwell Middle School’s Science Camp returns to Big Bay

The entire 7th-grade class spent the week learning different topics while also enjoying some fun recreation
At least 235 seventh graderswent to Bay Cliff Health Camp last week for the school's annual...
At least 235 seventh graderswent to Bay Cliff Health Camp last week for the school's annual science camp(WLUC)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 11:36 AM EDT
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BIG BAY, Mich. (WLUC) - Bothwell Middle School had not had a field trip of any kind since 2019, especially for the seventh-graders. That all changed last week when the school brought back its annual science camp.

Tressa Scarlassara was one of 235 seventh-graders who spent time at Bay Cliff Health Camp for those five days.

“This is my first time at Bay Cliff. My mom spent so much money on me just to be here, so I’m actually quite glad that my friends could make it. It’s really fun,” said Scarlassara.

The camp has been a 49-year Bothwell tradition to get kids exposed to new scenery. Students took a science class each day about bogs, ponds, invasive species, and water quality. Science teacher Cameron Bancroft, though, said there was more.

“There were some other science classes, like our robotics. We also have a CSI-style class and a cold case (that’s a new addition this year),” Bancroft said. “And then we have camp favorites, like canoeing, arts & crafts, and archery.”

The students also wrote journal entries on what they learned. But, Jennifer Tapolcai, another science teacher who has helped with the camp for 16 years, says the experience is more of a special opportunity to “unplug.”

“(The students) don’t bring their devices for an entire week. This is an opportunity that they might not ever get again, to be fully present and hands-on in an experience on this level,” said Tapolcai.

Scarlassara enjoyed the cooking course, including making s’mores, as well as all of the outdoor activities. The seventh-grader said she hopes to return to Bay Cliff in the near future.

“When I first got here, I was like, ‘Okay. This is going to be a fun experiment. Let’s try it out,’” Scarlassara said. “For the past few days, it’s been a lot of waking up, getting ready, and tiring out...and I just am so excited. I love this place so much, and I don’t want to leave sometimes.”

Bothwell plans to do this science camp for the 50th time next year, as the upcoming seventh graders look to have “s’more” fun.

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