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Palisade Paw Post

Palisade Paw Post

OWL: Can We Get A Hoot Hoot?!

OWL Campus in Gateway

The hoots of the OWL camp counselors and 6th-grade campers can finally be heard around the valley as we dive into our 2023-2024 Outdoor Wilderness Lab camp season. OWL stands for Outdoor Wilderness Lab, which is an outdoor science school owned and operated by Mesa County School District. The beautiful program is grounded in Gateway and is surrounded by the Unaweep and Dolores River Canyons with West Creek running right through the center of campus.

The program invites teachers to choose high school students who they feel would make welcoming and inspiring camp counselors for the program. When chosen, students receive a letter from their teacher and then go to a meeting held by their high school’s OWL teacher, for Palisade is Brandon Mohr. The leader of the program, Greg Weckenbrock, goes into these meetings to teach the students about the program and then is with them through every step of their training. Counselors then fill out an application and once accepted participate in three training sessions. The first is to introduce the program and their role at OWL, the second is to go up to the campus for a full day and learn about the different outdoor classrooms and a few of the lessons, and the third is to go into their local middle schools to connect with the sixth-grade students.

Once they complete this training, the high schoolers accompany sixth-grade students on a week-long trip to the campus. OWL’s mission is to “Provide every student with meaningful learning opportunities by experiencing science and overcoming social-emotional challenges outside.” The counselors are trained on leadership styles, relationship building, the District 51 staff expectations and operating procedures, and the different lessons they will be teaching the campers. The program is an incredible opportunity for high school students as they receive a semester’s worth of high school credit and 100 community service hours. If you missed the signup, it’s not too late, OWL has a fall and spring session every year so make sure to apply when applications reopen!

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About the Contributor
Mallory Brownell
Mallory Brownell, Sports Editor
Hey there! My name is Mallory Brownell and I am a Sophomore here at Palisade. This is my second year on the Paw Post, and I am the Sports Editor as well as the social media coordinator for this year. Outside of the paper, I am a member of the Palisade Girls Golf team, a manager for the Boy's Golf team, a member of our FBLA club, as well as a full-time competitive dancer. I am so excited for this year with our incredible team. Go Bulldogs!
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