Students develop science, math, geography, and critical thinking skills in ways that add value to their learning in the classroom. We aim to empower students to be responsible citizens in their knowledge and handling of natural resources. While at Camp Mack, students will develop interpersonal relationships by encouraging communication, group cohesion, positive peer interactions, teamwork, goal setting, trust, and FUN!
Here at Camp Mack, students learn about the natural sciences through a series of outdoor classes that are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Students participate in different activities/classes called field studies. Field studies are tailored to fit your specific learning goals and objectives. Looking for a group building experience where students learn to work together and problem solve? We facilitate customized teambuilding to meet your group’s needs. Want a more environmental education focus? Try our geology and ecology classes. Want something completely different? Look into Sandcastle Physics, Pirate Studies, or Nature Math. In addition to our typical class options, students may experience typical camp activities like archery, canoeing, campfires, night hikes, and skits. When bad weather hits, we’ll simply switch gears and talk about Storm Science!
One Day Programs
Get outside for an awesome day of experiential learning! Head to camp, explore and learn through community building games, focus on teamwork or environmental education, and be back to school in time for pick up! See our field study options for a complete list of activities.
Maximize the community building impact of your outdoor experience by participating in a two or three day program! During the day, students participate in engaging hands-on field studies such as Glaciology, Tree Study, Geocaching, Nature Math, Invasive Species, and Watersheds. The fun doesn’t end there – campfire skits, all-group outdoor games, and night hikes fill the evenings! See our field study options below.
Field Study Options
Choose all adventure field studies, all environmental education and outdoor skills classes, or create your own mix of the two. We recommend including at least one teambuilding/challenge course field study in your trip!
Adventure Field Studies
- Archery: Students will learn the basics of archery and get to shoot dozens of arrows at a target.
- Canoeing: Students will learn the basics of canoeing and practice teamwork on the lake.
- Challenge Course 1: This teambuilding field study focuses on group initiatives and games, introducing students to spotting and facilitating teamwork.
- Challenge Course 2: This field study builds upon Challenge Course 1, giving students newer challenges to accomplish. Students will experience low ropes elements and put their spotting practice to use.
- Climbing Tower/Zip Line: Students climb the tower and zip line down the track. They practice positive encouragement, build self-esteem, and develop new skills.
- High Ropes: Our brand new high ropes course opens Fall 2020! The course has 2 levels of varying difficulty with multiple element options. Exit the course via a Zap back to the start, a Tarzan Slide, or a Leap of Faith off the highest level. This activity allows for personal growth as students push themselves past mental and physical boundaries and group bonding as students experience the thrill together. We recommend sequencing this activity after Challenge Course 1 and 2 or in combination with the Climbing Tower and Zip Line.
- Knots: Students will learn the basics of knot tying and the many uses including for climbing, boating, and snares. Students can then make a paracord bracelet to take home!
- Native American Games and Atlatl Throwing: Experience how Native Americans had fun and built up their athletic skills. Then learn how to use an atlatl (a type of spear-throwing device) and test your skills at aiming for the hoop!
Environmental Science Field Studies
- Astronomy (Weather Dependent): Students will spend the evening stargazing, learning the constellations visible at that time of the year and the mythology behind them. Students will also construct and use star maps.
- Forest Ecology: Students will learn about the inter-dynamics of the various creatures living in the forest here at camp. They will get to see how different organisms impact each other in both positive and negative ways.
- Geology of Indiana: Students learn about the rocks and minerals that make up Indiana by looking at actual samples collected from around the state. Students will learn about paleoecology from fossiliferous limestones and shales and then construct an interpretive dance of the geologic history of Indiana!
- Invasive Species: Here at Camp Mack, we have a ton of invasive species that have taken over parts of camp. Students will learn about some of the ones we have, why they are invasive, and what they can do to help.
- Nature Math: Many things in nature follow a set of specific patterns like the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio. Students will learn about the different patterns and go on a scavenger hunt around camp to see how many they can find.
- Pirate Studies: Students learn about the hydrodynamics of pirate ships and use engineering to design and build the best ship. Students will test the water-readiness of their ships and calculate their speed in knots.
- Pond Study (Invertebrates): Students will learn about the types of invertebrates, how they succeed in their environments, and see what invertebrates we can find around camp.
- Sandcastle Physics: This class teaches students the physics behind how sandcastles work through experimentation and hand-on learning. Students will learn about cohesion, hydrogen bonding, and the angle of repose.
- Storm Science (Weather Dependent): The fun doesn’t have to stop because of a storm – in fact, this class is our filler for when there is one! Students will learn what causes thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and other weather, how scientists predict storms, and why we need storms. Students will even get to go puddle jumping in the rain once the storm has passed!
- Tree Study & Identification: Students learn why trees are important, how to read the events in tree cookies, and how to identify trees around camp.
- Watersheds, Streams, and Erosion: In this class, students experience how surface processes like stream erosion work through experimentation and basic engineering. Students will look at 3D topographic maps and model stream flow through a hands on experiment in the sand.
- Wetlands Study (Ecosystems): Students will tour our wetlands boardwalk and learn about the specific ecosystem we have here. They will get to see how various plants and animals work together to maintain their ideal ecological niches.
Outdoor Skills Field Studies
- Dutch Oven Cornbread: Learn how to shuck and grind corn into cornmeal to make cornbread in a dutch oven over the fire. Make homemade butter and then enjoy the two together.
- Geocaching: Students will learn about the Global Positioning System (GPS) and how to use a handheld GPS device. They will then roam camp looking for hidden treasure!
- Outdoor Cooking: Students will learn how to build a fire and cook food over the fire. We offer a variety of food options from snacks like pudgy pies to full meals!
- Outdoor Leadership: This field study is ideal for groups of students wanting to cultivate leadership skills. We will cover topics such as emergency management, leading others in conservation, and facilitation of group activities to create future environmental leaders!
- Wayfinding: Students will learn everything about finding one’s way in the wilderness! They will learn to use a compass, how to navigate without one, how to find their way at night, and even how to use a sextant to calculate one’s latitude!
- Wilderness Survival & Leave No Trace: Students will learn about how to find and filter water, build survival shelters, how to administer wilderness first aid, and how to forage for edible plants (we have plenty here at camp!). They will also learn to be good stewards of the environment through Leave No Trace.
NEW Programs Under Development
- Forensic Sciences
- Escape Room
- Native Indiana Animals (Educational Animal Encounter)
For More Information:
Kristen Werling, Outdoor Education Coordinator
Phone: (574) 658-4831