SD: Dakota Middle School Students Think Outdoor Campus-West is Just Ducky
Rapid City – "Duck!"
No, that wasn't the warning cry about an incoming snowball. It was an excited shout by kids from Dakota Middle School in Rapid City while putting the finishing touches on a project for The Outdoor Campus-West.
Students in Ray Glover's Applied Technology Class made a field trip to The Outdoor Campus-West on January 7 to help Game, Fish and Parks Department staff install the wood duck boxes they had made in class.
"These kids had a great idea and saw it through to the finish. When Mr. Glover contacted me about their project, I knew it was something we wanted to help with," said Chad Tussing, director of The Outdoor Campus-West. After the students started construction on their nest boxes, Tussing spoke to them in their classroom about wood duck biology and nesting habits, and he answered their questions.
"These kids had done their research and had a lot of great questions about wood ducks," explained Tussing. "They were fascinated to learn that newly hatched ducklings often drop 15 or 20 feet from their nests before following their mother to water."
When asked about their favorite part of the outing, Cain Clemens, a sixth grader, stated "I liked seeing the ducks in the water. The box will protect the wood ducks from raccoons."
The boxes are special touches to the under-construction Outdoor Campus-West facility. They are hung near two of the spring-fed ponds there that already host a number of duck species, including wood ducks. The facility will serve as a new headquarters for regional GFP staff and as a complex to provide free outdoor education programs to the community.
Destiny Gyles (7th grade) is looking forward to when construction is completed on the Campus. "I would like to go to the Outdoor Campus again."