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Sixth-graders Team up at Elkhorn Valley

Sixth-graders from Stanton and John Gregg Elementary schools became acquainted for some fun team-building games at Elkhorn Valley Christian Service Camp in Bergholz.

  About 104 students headed to the site on May 22 for a day of activities and collaboration in an effort to get to know each other before they began the new term at Edison Jr. High School. Kids rotated among four stations to play basketball, GaGaball and pirate ship and partook in team-building games that provoked thought and collaboration, plus they ate lunch before departing the camp. A few of the young attendants said they enjoyed the day and meeting new people.

  “I liked it,” said Taylor Shasteen, a Stanton student. “I liked the pirate ship. It was my favorite game.”

  “I liked the human foosball,” added Samaiah Firm of Stanton, noting that she enjoyed meeting people and making new friends.

  “It’s fun and I liked meeting the Stanton kids,” said John Gregg pupil Brea Shrieve.

  “I thought it was fun,” said Arianna Blake, also of John Gregg. “I liked the games.”

  Edison Local Schools Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta said it was the first time such an event was held and it helped the kids build some camaraderie.

  “In the summer, we went as part of summer school and had an option for the kids to go,” she said, adding that it was based on pandemic-related initiatives. “We thought it would give the kids some social-emotional experiences that were fun because of two years of social distancing from COVID. Next year, the sixth-graders will go to the junior high and they will be mixed from both elementary schools. We thought it would be a fun way for students to meet and work on communication skills and the kids really enjoyed it.”

   School leaders then reached out to the facility about further activities and interest among the children grew. Grades 1-6 have participated in a summer program with this year’s event set for June 20-22. Kireta said classes will be split into two groups with grades 1-3 and 4-6 and information was sent home to parents to register.

  Mark Laughlin, executive director of Elkhorn Valley, said students from Edison and surrounding schools have attended the retreat in the past and the latest gathering was another way to establish teamwork and friendships.

  “The third-graders have attended for the past eight to 10 years and last year we held the summer program with students from Stanton and John Gregg,” Laughlin added. “Since they are going to the junior high, the kids from Stanton are getting to know the kids from John Gregg. We do a lot of outdoor events and most of our programs are overnight or for three days. We spoke to Mrs. Kireta about this for the day.”

  Laughlin hoped to see the sixth-grade visits become an annual affair. Elkhorn Valley, which is located along Ohio 164, offers camps, retreats and other festivities for school students, church groups and more throughout the year. Meanwhile, parents interested in registering their child for the latest summer program may contact the Edison Local School District office at (740) 282-0065.

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