In 1987, The Roeper School finished its last camp session at Camp Innisfree due to the camp’s closing and were forced to locate a new camp for its 6th grade students. For Roeper, the middle school camping trip was an important staple in a student’s transition from the lower school to the middle school. The camping experience provided an opportunity for students to build character, persistence and teamwork through safe challenges. It was a key marker in a student’s maturity from childhood to early adolescence.
In 1988, Roeper found a new camp, Camp Wolverine, and were excited to continue its tradition of providing an experience for its six grade students to learn, work, grow, and mature together. Camp Wolverine has been a memorable trip for alumni and current Roeper students. They can largely point to a few key camp traditions and activities that make the experience memorable. Linda Pence shared:
“Whether the challenge was being away from home for the first time, spending time outside in the dark, seeing new strengths in friends and themselves, resolving the inevitable conflicts that arise as people live and work together, cross country skiing, making it through the Bear’s Den or zip line, surviving large scale predator and prey games, completing the many co-op challenges including building a fire in the rain/snow, simply keeping track of their stuff and/or dressing to stay warm and dry, our campers came home tired yet excited to share their adventures…”
Just as it was difficult for Roeper to transition from Camp Innisfree to Camp Wolverine, Roeper has once again found itself facing a camping transition. Camp Wolverine will close its doors at the conclusion of this calendar year. Last week the Roeper sixth grade campers were the last group to experience Camp Wolverine. We will again embark upon a search for a new camp.
Last year, The Roeper School dedicated a bench to commemorate Linda Pence for her dedication to the Roeper School and Camp Wolverine. With the closing of Camp Wolverine, that bench will be relocated to the Birmingham campus and placed adjacent to the Mariann Hoag Gardens near the parking lot.