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Houghton holds Camp Middle School

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette— Houghton Middle School sixth grader Eliza Laplander fills out a card in guidance counselor Kristen Rundman’s office Thursday during Camp Middle School. The annual orientation event included a scavenger hunt and a locker tutorial, among other events.

HOUGHTON — Incoming sixth-graders at Houghton Middle School learned what they would be doing this year and how to get there at Camp Middle School Thursday.

The longstanding orientation session includes learning how to open a locker, a scavenger hunt for classes and other middle school locations, finding out how to log on to the school’s computers, then going through their handbook and schedule.

“It’s really helpful,” said sixth grade teacher Christine Marttila. “It’s helpful for us too, because we get to see who we’re going to have in our classes.”

The 14-stop scavenger hunt asked students to track down items ranging from the words on the mural near the multi-purpose room to the color of the brick pillar in the library.

For the fourth stop, students had to go into the counselor’s office. There, they filled out a card asking them a question about the upcoming year. Faced with the question of what she would do to start middle school on the right track, Eliza Laplander wrote: “Being organized.”

“I think it’s really fun because you get to figure out what’s coming up in the year, and you get to know more people,” she said.

At the end, students could drive a robot from the middle school’s FIRST Tech Challenge team.

With the booth moved into the hallway because of construction, it was a little tougher to get students into it, said coach Melody Doig. Being added to the scavenger hunt did give them every attention, she said.

Some sixth graders had already shown interest in joining, Doig said.

“Being part of Camp Middle School is always productive, and gets returning students thinking about robots again,” she said. “If we can recruit a couple of students out of this, then it’s worthwhile.”

Kalissa Zemke was looking forward to being less controlled than in elementary school. And she likes having her own locker to keep her things secure, she said.

She had been able to open her locker a few times already. And she liked Camp Middle School overall.

“I think it’s really fun, and I think it’s good learning about how to open your locker and do all the stuff you need to do so you get ready for when school starts,” she said.

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