How to know if you’re smarter than a 5th grader



Quick – what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Camp? I’m not sure if it’s “awesome food”, “campfire songs”, or “camp mischief,” but it’s clear that many people have indelible memories of camp life. Thanks to the Salesforce foundation and East Ridge and Bear Creek Elementary schools, I got to spend time this week with some awesome 5th graders and their teachers, and had a great time at Camp Cedar Springs in Lake Stevens, WA.

Hint. (I don’t think I am smarter than a 5th grader.) But after spending two and half days learning about forestry, fire-building, northwest wildlife, shelter-building, and camp food, I am definitely better off. As a bonus, the weather held and we had a couple of days of sun in March, which can be an unusual quality in the Pacific Northwest.

And the things I learned included:

  • Practical learning – how to start a fire with wet kindling;
  • Social learning – how to divert the attention of 9 5th grade boys for good when they can’t stay still;
  • and Overall learning – how spending some time with kids can make a difference in their lives when they see that adults are people and they do care.

So, a big thank you to the kids for letting me tag along, to Salesforce for making it easier to attend, and to the schools for putting on a great show and helping some 5th graders have a great time at camp. Add to that the fact that I got a much needed two-day break from technology and information and you have the makings of an indelible and great camp experience.

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