Crook County Middle School Outdoor Camp to return in May


Outdoor Camp has been a right of passage for 6th-grade students at Crook County Middle School for decades.

Generations of students have enjoyed the week-long experience for 62 years, which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the omicron surge subsiding and the statewide mask mandates set to lift in March, planning is well underway to bring back one of Crook County Middle School’s most treasured traditions. 

“We are thrilled to have the return of 6th-Grade Camp in May. Our staff and camp directors have been putting in a lot of planning and work to restore this opportunity. It’s an amazing experience for students, and we are excited to keep this tradition going strong,” said Crook County Middle School Principal Kurt Sloper. 

Over three weeks between May 9th and May 27th, 6th-grade students make their way to the United Methodist Camp located by Suttle Lake.

Students stay for an entire week and engage in all sorts of educational and fun activities.

They learn about wildfires, forest biology, build shelters, plant trees, enjoy hikes, and make memories while bunking with friends and eating camp food in the lodge.

Crook County High School students sign up each year to serve as counselors, most of whom were once campers themselves. 

“Sixth-grade camp is a cherished community tradition. Drinking from the headwaters of Jack Creek, rustling up breakfast outdoors, ‘Harvey’ — these are experiences local alumni share across generations,” explained School Board Chair Scott Cooper. “Crook County has the oldest camping tradition in the state, and the loss of it was painful. Bringing it back has been a board and community priority, and its return is a milepost in return to normalcy.”  

Sloper says that he and the team have already communicated with families about Outdoor Camp, and final preparations are being made.

This year, Jim Crouch and Tina Katzenberger will serve as camp directors, and additional details will be shared with students and families as the camp dates draw closer. 

This year, there’s an excellent opportunity for a community member to experience Outdoor Camp. Crook County School District needs to hire a Cafeteria Attendant to help cook food and oversee the kitchen at the lodge.

The position pays $350 per week, so anyone interested should apply online using this direct link:


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