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Valley Middle School 8th Graders Mentor 6th Graders at Camp

Courtesy San Diego County Office of Education
Courtesy San Diego County Office of Education
Eighth-grade students from Valley Middle School got a chance to return to 6th grade camp this week while mentoring younger students as part of the junior counselor program at Camp Cuyamaca.

The older students helped run activities and experiments, perform at group events and serve as mentors.

“For many of them, it’s their first leadership opportunity, and they’re so proud of themselves,” said Greg Schuett, principal of the camp outside of Descanso in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The camp is part of San Diego County Office of Education’s Outdoor Education program.

The idea to bring 8th graders back to camp as junior counselors came from a student from La Mesa who attended camp in 6th grade. She was among the first group of junior counselors in spring 2010.

Since then, it has grown from about 20 junior counselors to about 100 this year. That growth was helped with a sponsorship from the Ford Motor Company Fund in partnership with the San Diego County Ford Dealers.

The program encourages civic-mindedness in the older students, said Tina Chin, executive director of SDCOE’s outdoor education program. They can earn 40 hours of community service credit for participating.

–San Diego County Office of Education press release

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