Seniors Become 6th Grade Camp Counselors


As summer approaches and high school comes to an end, a strange phenomena takes place.  Senior students begin to reflect upon their lives and pasts as students.  Reflections from their past years in the senior high, junior high and elementary school undoubtedly flood the mind as they transition out of high school. Flashback six years ago to the elementary school days, full of excitement, your 12-year-old self is stepping onto a bus; you are ready to leave your parents to rough it for three days in the woods.  You become ecstatic to hang out with your friends, stay up late, sit by a campfire, fire a .22 cal target rifle (many for the first time), canoe as if it were Lake Winnapaskaie, and scale the mountain.  As a young kid, this is your first experience out in the wilderness, and your first time away from Mommy and Daddy. 

Flashback to the present day.  Your young punk self is now a big bad senior and you’re thinking about the days you’ve lost (perhaps even forgotten?) and you wish to relive those simple days.  You may decide that heading to Sixth Grade Camp as a counselor may provide the gateway for the revelation you so desperately seek and you will be helping some young punk create a memory.  It’s a win-win situation.

The Present Day      

This year, the selection process for Sixth Grade Camp was made primarily available to seniors because of the sheer number of applicants, and of course, out of sheer seniority.  Assistant Principal Chad Krehlik urges juniors who applied this year to re-apply next year as seniors.  “With so many tests the juniors have to take, we really don’t want them missing anymore school,” said Krehlik.

This year the 130 female applicants outweighed the 22 male applicants.  Usually, 18 counselors are assigned to each of the three camps, which means a total of 52 students are chosen to embark on the journey.  To qualify for camp, the council consisting of Mr. Krehlik and Mrs. Bates judged students by their attendance at school, their grades and their behavior.  Students, as academic leaders, must be a positive role model in order to achieve counselor status.  

Senior Ashley Dietrich explained that her reason for wanting to be a counselor was simple.  “I have a passion for teaching little kids, also I’m going to major in elementary education, so this should be good practice for my future as a teacher,” said Dietrich.  

Sixth graders from all three elementary schools attend the camp each year.  Each school is given a period of three days to hoof it in the wilderness before the next school moves in.  Sixth Grade Camp is a memory that the kids who’ll grow up to run the country one day will keep with them until they day they pass on.  The students at Greater Latrobe Senior High School are here to make the best of the kids’ experience. Senior Emma Straight says, “I really like little kids and I went last year and had a lot of fun.  So I figured I might as well go back this year.”

Seniors, we are all growing up.  We’re ready to leave home and embark on a new journey.  We’re ready to take on whatever life throws at us.  However, graduating and leaving high school is also a time of reflection.  It’s a time where we can look back on everything we’ve done and accomplished throughout our lives thus far.  We really do grow up way too fast.  Sixth Grade Camp is a memory that lives on in our minds, and going back as a counselor is a way to rekindle that magic that we once had in our youth, even if just for three days, while also making a positive impact on some kid that will remember it forever.