Notus sixth-grade teacher Yvonne Golden contacted me recently about printing stories the students were writing about their overnight trip to Bruneau Dunes State Park. Seemed like a great use for the Playing Outdoors blog, so here’s what the sixth-graders wrote about their excursion:
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Notes: The trip was May 19-20. Twenty-six students and about 20 parents participated. Golden and Amanda Cayler were the teachers. ... Also, I opted not to edit the stories to keep them authentic.
Sixth Grade Field Trip
The Sand Dunes is a magnificent place to visit in the summer time or even in the springtime. When I first arrived, I admit, I was a little nervous, but nothing I could not handle. I was very anxious to get off the bus and breath in the fresh wide open air. I imagined the dunes would be enormous but when I saw the dune we were climbing on Thursday, I was like, “Wow, that is not that big as I thought it was going to be HUGE.” I thought to myself quietly. When I woke up the next morning I heard a rumor that we were going to climb the other sand dune behind the one that we climbed Thursday. I told my best friend, Katana, that we are going to climb the biggest dune yet. I was more nervous than I was yesterday and I had more excitement then on Thursday, too. While we were walking up the dune I thought to myself, “Keep going Elizabeth, just keep going the top. It is not that far away.” I was so tired. but as soon as I got to the top, I fell and laid my head to the ground and listened to the sound of the river. I was breathing hard and heavily. It was the most awesome feeling, ever! I stood up and walked along the very top. I walked alone until Kacy ran ahead of me. I just watched him and his friends argue about who was going to win when they reached the top. I never had a trip be so fun and so exhausting at the same time! When our class rode back to the campsite, we started to pack our things and put them into the bus. I asked why we were leaving so early and Mrs. Golden simple answered, “We said we would leave before 1:00.” I went to pack the rest of my things and load the bus. I was excited to tell my family about how awesome the trip was, but I was sad at the same time because I loved this trip. I have never had a trip like The Bruneau Sand Dunes before, and I encourage you to go and have a blast while you visit! Thank you to my teachers and all the parents who help.
Written by: Elizabeth Winkles
My Experience on the Dunes
Walking up the biggest Sand Dune was the most miserable experience of my life. When I was walking up the dune my legs kept on getting sore and I became exhausted. I just wanted to go home. What kept me going was that I was so close to the top that I just kept on telling myself that I was so close to the top that I am going to just keep on going.
Guess what, I made it to the top of the dune! I was happy, but miserable. Everyone was cheering me on and that is another reason that kept me going.
Written by: Brianna Rae Stewart
My favorite parts about Bruneau Sand Dunes
My favorite part of the Bruneau Sand Dunes trip was that I got to see nature and play with my friends. For example, I saw fish and animal tracks, snakes, lizards, and way more! And my friends and I played games in the dark and laughed and had so much fun! Even though my feet hurt and were cold, I still had a wonderful weekend! This trip was fun, crazy, and weird, but most of all, it was like hot coco on a winter evening. Thanks for everything my wonderful caring amazing teachers, Ms .Golden and Ms. Cayler.
Written by: Savannah Darling
Hiking the Dunes
Do you know how hard and unbelievably fun it is to climb those dunes? The smaller dunes was not as complicated as the giant dune. Climbing the small dunes felt like it took second to get up there. We all had so much fun and became covered in sand, it was everywhere! When we got back to camp, it was like we took half of the dunes with us, we had brought so much sand back. The big dunes is the one that killed everyone. Whew! We thought the small dune was a workout! Most of the class followed the dunes all the way to its endpoint. Some of us, just thought it was too much work. Coming back down the dunes was unbelievably fun! Some of us, rolled down the dunes. Some students ran down them. Not as many people sat down and slid, but there were a couple people who did. In conclusion, the Bruneau Sand Dunes were satisfying, painful, and unbelievably awesome to everyone!
Written by: Hilary Shores
Swimming in the lake at the Bruneau Sand Dunes was a blast!!! Water was splashing, everybody was coming in and out of the water, and everybody was having fun. We had to earn the right to go swimming by hiking a small dune. It was amazing, and I want to go back!
By: Alex Martinez-Garcia
Bruneau Sand Dunes
Hiking the Bruneau Sand Dunes is my most favorite school field trips — even though there are little scorpions there, I doubt you will ever find them because we didn't see any. When we arrived at camp, we set up all of our tents and then made our beds. Then, we took a hike to the small dune and walked up it and went to the water to cool off. We were swimming for about a half an hour, it was pretty fun! Then by the time we got back it was about dinner time so we cooked up dinner with hamburgers and hot dogs. When dinner was done, we went and played around the campground until about 9:40 PM. Then we had to put our P.Js on and by the time we where done it was 10:00 which is quite time, so all of us had to come sit around the fire and we had some s'mores. Then after all of us were done we played silent games and there was just one big RULE, no one can scream or we all have to go to bed. (Campground curfew was at 10:00) Someone got scared by someone else and screamed so we all had to go to bed, but that was alright because some of us were really sleepy. Then, Emmett Rippy, wanted to stay up for a bit and look at the stars and guess what? He saw a planet! It was shining out of the sky and it looked liked it had a little bit of red and purple and all sorts of amazing colors. That is so amazing! Finally, we all went to bed. In the morning, we got up at 7:00 because that is when people are supposed to get up, but there was a few people who were really tired so they kinda slept in. (Ms. Golden said a few kids had woken up and were giggling at 5:30 AM) After everyone was up, we ate breakfast and then sat by the campfire and just hung out. Finally, we headed to the bus to go to hike the biggest dune. When we got there, we headed straight up the trail. It was a long walk up and down the trail. We were all tired, but we all made it and when everyone made it, we stopped for about a 5 minute break. Some of us took off our shoes to walk up the hill, but the next day our feet were sore and tired. After the big hike, we went back to camp around 11:30 so we could get lunch and pack up and put down our tents. Well, we had to be out of our campsite at 1:00 so we still had a bit to play, but not much. Our trip is finished and we are a little bit sad that we had to leave, but you know we can always come back again with our family and have the same dune fun just like we had with our class. I will always remember the fun time we had on this trip!
By: Mary Philbeck
The Best Field Trip EVER!
The sixth grade Bruneau Dunes field trip was exciting! I had fun on the bus. Ms. Golden let us play BINGO and we could win prizes. The sand dunes were enormous! When I was hiking, I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I finally made it without dying. My favorite part was when I went fishing and I caught a perch. It was cool!
Written by: Kyle Gepford
Campfire And Games
Sitting by the Campfire and playing games is a lot better than sitting in the classroom! We devoured S'mores at my trailer. Kaeden, Jamie, and myself had to have icecream because we had braces. Before we went to sleep, we all got together and played Ghost in the Graveyard. We had a blast! This was the most exciting field trip we’ve ever been on!
Written By: Cierra Peugh
Swimming at the Bruneau Sand Dunes was such a fun activity! After hiking the Dunes, we went swimming. It was such a relief jumping into the nice cold water after hiking the so very hot Dunes! I love to go swimming so much! I would have swam all day if I could have. Going to the Bruneau Sand Dunes with Notus 6th grade class was the best, and I made some great memories there with my classmates. I hope to go back soon.
Written By: Carol Irene Hadley
Notus 6th grade Bruneau Sand Dunes Field Trip
The Bruneau Dunes field trip was awesome and fun for everyone! When we first arrived at the campground, we were all so excited, until we got outside, we all realized, it was pouring! (Thank you to Mrs. Haskell for the ponchos!) After setting up our tents, we all decided to eat some lunch. Afterward, we realized it stopped raining, so we went and climbed the small dunes. We had enough time after that and went swimming! Next, we headed back to camp, while being eaten alive by mosquitos. When we arrived at the campground, we played some outdoor games until it was dinner time. When dinner time had come and gone some of us went fishing, some of us went and played BINGO, the rest of us just stayed back at camp and hung out. It was great to be outside with our classmates and not stuck in the classroom. When everyone had come back to camp, we played some more games, but in the dark, which made them more entertaining. Then, came campground curfew! We were all supposed to be in our tents and asleep, but our awesome teacher told us we could stay up and continue playing if we were quiet. Our teacher will NEVER make that mistake again! Finally, we did all fall asleep. In the morning, we waited for everyone to wake up as we sat next to the campfire. Shortly, it started raining again, but we did not care, it was time to tackle the BIG DUNES! It took awhile to climb up that one, but we had so much fun! After we arrived back at camp, we packed everything up, ate and played more games until it was time to go. It was an awesome experience for me. My favorite part was climbing the dunes. I will always look back on that field trip, and every time I do, I will always remember how much fun we had!
Written by: Hilary Shores
The Best Year of My Life
The class of 2022 of the Notus School District was so excited for May 19, 2016. It was an overnight field trip day! The kids were going to leave at 10:30 a.m and we got there about 1:00. We set up tents, then put our bags in the tents and it was time for lunch. The class played football or catch for about an hour then Ms. Golden said, “It’s time to hike the little dunes so go to the restrooms and get your swimsuits on because we might go swimming”. We all got wet and LOVED it! When we were heading down the hill to take the trail back to camp, we all got really bad mosquito bits! We were happy that the campground has showers to get the sand off. For dinner we ate hamburgers and hotdogs, then you could either go fishing or hang out at camp. If you stayed at camp, you got to attend a mystery class and it was a class about poop! (AKA Scat) That class was so weird, but very interesting! I learned a lot! After that, we had s'mores, except the people who had braces, they had ice cream, but then it was time for bed. We didn’t go to sleep right away, but finally we were out. In the morning, we ate breakfast burritos and Ms.Golden said that we were going to climb the biggest dune. It was not easy at all for me! However, I got lots of steps on my Fitbit! We stayed and played there for about 2-3 hours. Then, it was time to go back to camp and put our tents away and equipment in the bus. Two lucky families stayed until Saturday or Sunday, but most of us had to go home. It was the best trip of my life!
By Hannah Hammons
Bruneau Sand Dunes
Bruneau Sand Dunes was a blast! I was so excited on Thursday, May 19th that I couldn’t even hold myself together. Really, I was so excited! It took forever to get there,but at least I didn't have to wait the whole way. (I took a nap.) When we got to the campsite, I was not expecting what I had imagined in my head which was the whole place being dirty and some rocks, at least that was what I thought it’d be, but I was proved wrong. What I saw was a beautiful climate with a little of green on the west and the east of the field. I could almost see the Dunes were I was setting up my tent with my aunt. We set up our tents, talked for a while, and then we hiked to the Dunes. The trail was not so great, but I didn’t mind at all. The whole class read the sign on the trail that said, “WARNING, Snake will be on the trail “. Most of the class was scared of snakes, but I was okay with them, as long they don’t bite me.
Finally, there it was, the first dune! It felt like we all had to claim the tall mountain of sand. I took off my shoes and when my feet touched the sand it was like soft wood after being sanded. It was hard to walk up the mountain of sand, but I just had to keep climbing no matter what it took. I finally make it to the top and what was waiting for me was a dark blue lake,that look good enough to go swimming in. I ran down the sand hill, as fast as I could, past my friends. Some of my other friends were already in the water — laughing and screaming of joy. I ran in the water and it was like walking in a river of ice. We played and did most of the stuff we couldn't do at school — like splash each other. It was so good to be in there, but we had to go eat dinner. My favorite thing at the Dunes was the sand and the lake. I might not ever forget how it feels to be at the Bruneau Dunes Lake again.
Written By: Luzero Salinas
Of course, Bruneau has tall sandy mountains called dunes, but it also has a park that you can camp in. Plus, you’re near an air base which is ridiculously awesome. F-18’s were flying overhead. They are so cool! And at night, if you look in the right direction, you can see another planet. So fun!
Written by: Emmett Rippy
The Bruneau Sand Dunes was so much fun! The bus ride was not too long, luckily we had BINGO to pass time. Once we got a BINGO, we were able to choose a prize out of the box. We were very excited so there was a lot of yelling and screaming. Due to the screaming, we had a hard time trying to fall asleep. When we arrived at the rest stop, it felt so great to just stretch. We spent the night at the Bruneau Sand Dunes and left around noon. When we were on our way to Notus, we stopped by the gift shop to buy souvenirs. I plan on going back this summer. (Thank you Mrs. Thueson, for driving the bus!)
Written by: Victoria Ortega
Swimming at Bruneau was super awesome! The water was cold at first, then when you get under the water, it feels warmer. The water wasn't deep for a long ways so you could just swim around and not tread the water. You could play football with your friends in the water. It is fun because if you catch the ball you could dive under the water and swim to the touchdown. The sand on the bottom of the lake was nice and cool, and the water had a bunch of roots at the bottom. Then, when we got out, we were all freezing because there was a breeze and we were soaking wet.
Written By: Jack Weymouth
Best Trip EVER
It is very hard to choose my favorite part of the field trip because it was so much fun! If I had to choose, it’d be hiking up the enormous sand dune. It took a while to get up there, but it was worth the fun! We started out by the lake, and we hiked our way up to where the bottom of the dune was. Then we took off our shoes and started hiking. At first, I was really tired, but then I just got really excited because I was almost to the top! I was about the fourteenth person up, but Kacy was the first boy and Jamie was the first girl. We all were up on top and we all were so happy. We started taking pictures, running down the hill, and competing in jumping and running contests! I will never forget this sixth grade field trip!
Written by: Kaylee Reichart
Bruneau Sand Dunes-The Best Field Trip Ever
My favorite part of the trip was the fishing and swimming. The fishing was fun and Kyle, my friend, caught a fish! The swimming was fun, too, but it was so cold! Once you got use to it, it was okay. Another one of my friends caught a little snake. The sand dunes were so steep and high. It took a long time to hike up them, but it was so fun! I can’t wait to go there again!
Written by: Nathan Weaver
Bruneau Dunes Field Trip
Although the Bruneau Dunes field trip didn’t last long, we still had a blast! Before we left the school, we had to pack up the bus. After we left in the bus, we played “BINGO” for the whole ride. When we got to camp, it was raining. Setting up the tents in the rain was challenging, but we did it. After we set up camp, we ate lunch. The weather warmed up and we were able to go swimming after we hiked a small dune! That was super fun! We hiked back to camp and most of us jumped in the hot shower. Then, we played games and participated in Ms. Golden’s outdoor school, Skat & Tracks class while our chaperones were making dinner. That class was very interesting and funny. After a while, we ate dinner, played for a while, and were eventually roasting marshmallows by the warm campfire. When our stomachs were full of S'MORES, we played for another couple of hours and then went to our tents until morning. When we were all awake, some of us had some coffee. We all ate breakfast, hiked a gigantic dune, went back to camp on bus, ate lunch, packed up, and left. We stopped at the gift shop a little ways from our used to be camping spot. We headed back to our school and were able to get home safe. It was the most amazing trip ever!
By Katana Royce
The Fun of the Sand Dunes
We had a lot of fun! The bus ride there was crazy. We played BINGO that was like playing with monkeys because everyone was so excited! When we arrived at the campground, my mom handed out ponchos as it was pouring rain. The rain did not stop us from having fun! After we unloaded the bus, we hurried up to to set up the tents so we wouldn't get wet. Then, it was time for fun-- and boy, oh boy, did we have fun!
Written by: Janie Haskell
Animals and Outdoor School
The animals we saw on the trip were awesome! We made a few friends, such as snakes, horned toads, birds, and other kinds of animals, too. Savannah, my friend, found a baby bull snake. It was cool. The trip was kind of cold at night, I do not know how the animals can sleep at night, they are good at finding a place to sleep. An animal snuck into our camp and stole some of our bread.
Learning outside was an experience, but it was actually kind of fun! The thing that was weird was that we were learning about “poop”. (The technical name is scat.) The poop class was like a game. We had to find what scat goes with the animal. Then, we saw paw prints like deer, elk, and many more tracks. We enjoyed this class very much. Thank you Ms. Golden for the awesome trip. :)
Written by: Jamie Davis
Bruneau Sand Dunes Bus Ride
During the amazing bus ride to the Bruneau Sand Dunes, we were able to play BINGO. The BINGO cards had little red slides. That made it easier to play because the bus was shaky. We stopped for a break at a rest area.. Then, on our way we went again. The hills and view was very interesting to see. The drive was a very long drive and took a while. It was worth it though! Finally, we arrived at the camping spot and spent the night there. On the way back, I was very sleepy because I had woken up at four because of the rain. I slept for the dive back and woke up when we entered Notus. The bus ride was fun! It was exciting to see and do the activities with my classmates. It was the most fun with the class and our teachers!
Written by: Cecilia Trejo
The Sand Dunes
Once you reach the top of the dunes, you feel unstoppable! When you are climbing the dunes, you have mixed emotions in your body. Such as happiness, exhaustion, determination, and a little part of you feels like giving up. But we didn’t!!! Once you are almost to the top you feel like you are climbing Mount Everest. If you ever get the chance to climb the dunes, ‘’Never Give Up’’.
By: Elijah Martin
Cast or no cast, I was getting in the water. It felt so good getting in the water after hiking the sand dunes. It was really fun playing in the water. Then, Eric was playing football with us in the water. We were going to get in the water on friday, but the sun wasn’t out. We played 500 with the football. Alex, one of my friends, was holding my cast up while I went under water. Some of the girls wouldn’t get in the water. That was our swimming experience! I hope you guys can go to the Bruneau Sand Dunes and swim and have a blast like I did.
Written by: Kaeden Clemens
My Bruneau Dunes Experience In The Lake
Hi, I’m Julian, and I am a sixth grader at Notus Elementary School. I went to the Bruneau Dunes field trip! My experience was amazing! We went swimming in this little lake they have, that was the funnest thing about the trip. While swimming, we would play catch with a football and just have fun. Swimming was a way to get your energy out. Another good thing is we got so much exercise while walking to the lake because we had to hike a dune to get to the lake. Swimming at the dunes was the best! I hope you go to the dunes some time.
Written By:Julian Gallegos
It wasn’t just us students out on the trip. There were animals too. So I started walking ahead, when I looked over to the side of me, I saw a bull snake. When I stepped on the tip of its tale, it turned to me like it was going to strike. Then Alex and Kacy found a horned toad. That was the animals we saw.
By: Kameron Hiser
The Best Trip of My Life
Our trip to the Bruneau Sand Dunes was amazing! The first day we were there, we set up camp and after that, we hiked up the small Dune. When we arrived at the vortex in the Dune all of us had a race down it ,and we all had so much fun! On the way down the small Dune, some of the children rolled down the Dune, and got sand all over us. Then, we went swimming in the lake, and it was wonderful. The last day we were there we hiked the big Dune, and it was the hardest thing in the world. After that, we went back to camp than we packed up, ate lunch, and headed home .On the bus ride home we stopped at the, tiny gift shop. Then, on our way home, we played BINGO, and we all had so much fun!
Written by: Gabbie Petersen
Food at the Dunes
We LOVE our school lunches, but camping food is spectacular! Mr. Golden and Mr. Weymouth grilled fat and juicy hamburgers. They were delicious! We also had an abundance of chips, salads, and cookies! Soda, juice, and water was also available. For breakfast, we stuffed our bellies with breakfast burritos. (Thank you Mrs. Peugh!) Thanks to Mrs. Shores, we ate tamales for lunch! In the night, we ate s'mores by the scorching hot fire and snacks in our tent. Even away from home, we ate like Kings and Queens.
Written by: Kacy Wilson & friends
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A handful of students weren’t able to attend the field trip. Some were mentor teacher’s assistants instead. They wrote about that, or another experience:
Mentoring children was more fun than I thought it would be! I liked seeing their writing and stories, also I had a lot of fun learning the kid’s names. They are a little crazy sometimes, but they are always ready and eager to learn new things. I love how the kindergarteners put a lot of effort into their work. They are very loving also and love to hold your hand. I like mentoring the children that I worked with because they had great pieces of writing. They know how to get on task very quickly. I love helping and mentoring, and I would love to do it again. It was very fabulous!
Written by Porfi Cruz
Mentoring with Mrs. Wickland
I was excited for mentoring in the library with Mrs. Wickland! The first thing we did was cut out butterflies and hang them in the hall. We also put color on some new books she purchased from the store. Next, we went to lunch really early and got to play for and hour. It was such a fun day. We helped in the office for awhile, and then were ready to help with first grade. At the end of day, we had cupcakes with the kindergartens! It was so fun that I would do it again!
Written by: Jose Cruz
What happened in kindergarten was funny, fun, and really cute! There are so many kindergarteners at school! It’s really hard to keep track sometimes. I was excited to work with Lily. She is just amazingly cute when she asks to hold my hand. And of course, I let her. But that one question can lead to 20 more! When the bell rings for recess, you cannot believe how energetic they are! They run around and sing a song or chase other kinders, they are really funny. Sometimes they have writing assignments. They are pretty good for being that young and already writing a book! (Mrs. Berry is a wonderful teacher!) I thought it would be a good idea to make a book too, and show them the ways we expected them to do it. So, I made one about a bear that loved peanuts. When I was making it, the little kinders kept on saying that I wasn't suppose to do certain things, and that I wasn't making it right, or even that I wasn't suppose to make one. But once I did, they were all nice, and sweet, some of them even said, “I liked your book.” They are all just so cute. The kinders sing a song every day, and most of the songs are about becoming a 1st grader, which I thought was pretty cool. (Maybe we need a song for becoming a 7th grader.) They made some songs and sang them every once in awhile. But sometimes they won't stop singing it, they just keep on singing it over and over until there is a new song that comes into their mind. What an amazing day!
Written by: Aubriana Fox
Spending The Day With Mrs.Wickland
This is the day I had with Mrs. Wickland and my friend, Jose. That day was really fun!
My day started when the rest of the 6th grade went on their big trip to the Bruneau Sand Dunes. Jose and I stayed with Mrs. Wickland for the rest of the day. It was a fun and relaxing day. First, we helped cut out the butterfly’s that the 1st graders had colored the day before. We also got to read with the first graders. At the end of the day, the kindergarteners were having a birthday party and Jose and I had cupcakes and a Capri Suns! It was a good day!
Written by Aiden Beaty
Drawing with Ms. Wilson
Drawing, sketching, and coloring are the things I would probably not be able to live without because ART is a part of me! But let's be honest, at the very beginning of the art class with Ms. Wilson, I thought It was going to be really boring because I usually like drawing by myself, not around people because I can actually think, and I am relaxed. So it helps me draw a lot better. The truth is I actually enjoyed it though because I was drawing and talking to my friends. For the week that we had the privilege of doing art, we drew pictures of animals and then we drew self-portraits of ourselves. Over all, the week that we had art was actually really enjoyable.
Written by Hailey Sauter
Being very young and racing on a track can be scary! I am 13 and I race at the Meridian Speedway. I am in the Jr. Stinger class. May 21st, 2016 was my first time racing. I honestly thought it was a scary experience. The day of the race, I was racing with a girl that was a beginner, too. The girl and I had to do hot laps as in practice laps. When I was doing laps with the girl, she came up too close to me and was scared to pass me, so she lost control of the car. When she lost control of the car, she hit the back of me and it caused me to spin out and slam into the wall. I had to push my brakes as hard as I can. When I went to slam into the wall my wrist and knee hit the roll cage. It caused me to sprain my wrist and the bone in my knee got bruised. My mom had to take me to the hospital when I got back to the pit. Unfortunately, my car had to be towed. It didn’t really mess my car up, all it did was put a little dent and it popped one of my tires. Yes, it was very scary, but that is the life of racing. Yes, I did get hurt really bad, but I’m not quitting something that I love to do. My name is Alyse Schildhauer and this is my experience of racing at the Meridian speedway for the first time.
By Alyse Schildhauer
My Experience Mentoring Second Grade
Second grade is awesome! First, I walked into the second grade thinking this is going to be an awesome day! I got to read fluency with some of the kids, and I also was able to read tests to some kids. Going out to recess with the second graders was fun, too. I had a root-beer floats and I finally got the fill of being a kid again. It was so much fun. Wow, second grade is awesome-- so is the Teacher.
Written by Ansley Tincher
Field day is a fun day for everyone and it is coming soon! There are lots of events and each one you have to use teamwork! My favorite is a sponge water fight. If you are in the front line, you will get wet a lot. You throw wet sponges at each other there are two rounds and there is also a dunk tank. I am pretty sure you know how a dunk tank works, but there is a person sitting on the platform and there is a target. People throw the ball and if you hit it, the person will fall into water. Another fun event is a water balloon toss. Each student gets a water balloon and you throw it and if you catch it you take a step back. You do that until you drop it or pop it. There are more activities, and it is a very fun day!
By: Felipe Arredondo