Every year my school sends the sixth graders ( and the 8th graders) to a week at Caritas Creek, an environmental education camp located in Northern California.
Now I may be a teensy bit biased, since *I* attended Caritas as a 6th grader some years ago, but it is one of the best run programs around. Not only do the kids learn about the ecosystems at camp, they also learn life skills. The kids learn empathy, how to deal with stress and negative people, how to appreciate nature and look for the ways God is present around them. They learn that they have choices and that their choices have consequences. They learn how to relate to others.
The first day is devoted to 'new discoveries', learning how to look at the things around them with different eyes. Then it's all about 'connections'. An acronym used is SONG ( connected to self, others, nature, and God). The latter half of the program is devoted to change, what can they do as 6th graders that can impact the world around them.
We had GORGEOUS weather this year. It was hard to come back and I pray that we'll be able to keep our Caritas spirit going throughout the rest of the school year and the kiddos' lives.