Third Graders Explore Arizona Wilderness

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - Feb. 25, 2023 - PRLog -- Third grade students from Peralta Trail Elementary School received a unique educational experience at the Dons Discovery Camp. The outing consisted of a one-day field trip into the Superstition Mountain wilderness.

The outdoor discovery camp aligns with third grade Arizona State Social Studies and students get to participate and experience five stations throughout the duration of the day. The stations are listed below.

Station 1: Hohokam Rock Art

Students learn about local petroglyph symbolism. During this station, students get a clay disk and create their own petroglyph to take home! They just LOVE having this souvenir from Don's camp!

Station 2: Gold Panning

This is a favorite station at Don's camp! Students learn about how precious metal played a significant role in the settling of Arizona. The presenter of this station also tells students about the "Lost Dutchman". The students are given the opportunity to pan for gold and get to take home any gold they find.

Station 3: Cattle Ranching

Students learn about ranching and its important role in Arizona history! They go into detail on how branding is done with a presentation and entertaining demonstration on how the cowboys brand their symbols on pieces of wood. Students get to take home a branded piece of wood. The second half of this station, students are shown what a lariat is and are able to practice roping on their own!

Station 4: Birds, Prey, Reptiles, and Mammals

Liberty Wildlife (an Arizona wildlife rescue) bring certain animals out to show our students like certain species of hawks and owls.

Station 5: Sonoran Desert Hike

Students partake in a 45 minute hike through the desert on a guided tour. They are educated on the types of cacti and animal species native to Arizona. They also learned how people used to survive in the desert.

In the middle of the day, students stopped to have a lunch break in their outdoor stadium. While students ate, they listened to different wildlife presenters from the Tonto National Forest. At the end of the day the students were able to bring home a variety of souvenirs to remind them of their visit.

"I truly love the hospitality from the people at Dons Camp," said Heather Wallace, AJUSD superintendent. "It's obvious how much the Dons enjoyed sharing the beauty of Arizona with our students. Our PTES third graders have the added advantage of learning about many things that are literally in their own backyard."

Located in beautiful Gold Canyon, AZ, Peralta Trail Elementary students and staff enjoy year-round desert splendor the moment they set foot on campus.
Enrollment is currently being accepted at all AJUSD schools. For more information visit or call 480-982-1110.

Sally Marks
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Tags:Panning For Gold
Location:Apache Junction - Arizona - United States
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