The sixth grade class at St. Ignatius Parochial School are spending the week on campus after its long-awaited trip to the Sly Park Environmental Education Center.
The camp is run by the Sacramento County Office of Education, but the building and land belong to the federal government and is located in the Eldorado National Forest. The camp was closed when the government was shut down over a budget impasse in Washington, D.C.
“Their bags were packed, their plans were made so it was really sad for them,” said sixth grade teacher Tessa Green.
They go word of the cancellation just three days before the trip, which gives students hands learning in a recreational atmosphere.
“I was shocked, people around me were shocked … some were crying,” said sixth grader Jarrod Florentino.
Green said the camp is a great educational opportunity that allows kids to bond with each other and her to bond with her students in a more casual atmosphere.
Students at St. Ignatius often work jobs and earn money to pay for the trip. Some like Kennedy Ford have had older siblings attend the camp.
“She said it was a lot of fun and she learned a lot and she had a great experience meeting new friends,” said Ford.
A skeleton crew has secured the site and the jobs of about two dozen workers are uncertain. 220 children are due to start another camp session on Monday if the stalemate in Washington ends. That includes three elementary schools in the Elk Grove Unified School District. They will be notified on Thursday or Friday if the trip is still on.
About 7,000 students go to the camp from the Sacramento area each year and it has served several generations of students.
Ford says she and her mother intend to write their congressional representatives.
“I’m going to let them know that I think they should try to figure (something) out as soon as possible because it’s affecting a lot of people by losing their jobs,” said Ford.