Students head to Lake Ozarks for biology trip


Luggage lines two walls in room 349 as students prepare for a biology field trip. Photo by Renata Williams

Graham Ratermann

RBHS may feel empty tomorrow as more than 100 sophomores in Honors Biology will be on a field trip at Camp Rising Sun in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Student on the trip will spend two nights at the camp, April 17-19, and spend most of their time outdoors.
These sophomores leave from the south lot of RBHS at 3:30 p.m. and ride on three school buses to Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Tonight, the students will have a briefing on rules and expectations, followed by a bonfire with s’mores. At Camp Rising Sun, students will stay in eight cabins, capable of sleeping 18, separated by gender with modern bathrooms and showers along with a communal mess hall, according to The Missouri State Parks website.
According to the schedule April Sulze, an honors biology teacher, gave students, the campers will have an early start Thursday with a 7 a.m. wake-up and a day full of activities led by Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources, including a cave tour. After a full day on Thursday, students will eat dinner and then perform camp skits for their classmates. Friday will consist of cleaning up camp,  and, at noon, students will reboard buses and travel back to Columbia, returning to school before class lets out.
The trip is the first, and if it’s successful, could become an annual event, Sulze said.
“It provides a learning experience outside of the classroom, and it gets them outside, and it gets them applying things we’ve already learned to different curriculum and see what’s in nature,” honors biology teacher Jamie McSparin said. “We are very excited. We’ve been planning this since August, so we’re really excited that its finally here.”
With rain predicted for every day of the trip, McSparin is concerned with the forecasted rain.
“I’m most worried about the rain and it being so intense that we can’t get out of cabins or do the rain activities we had planned,” McSparin said. “The kids are excited. We wish the weather wouldn’t be so rainy, but we [have] got a rain plan just in case.”
However, sophomore Kelsey Knorr is optimistic about the experience despite the dreary weather approaching.
“I just hope we can still do everything with the rain that’s coming,” Knorr said. “The learning hike about everything will be fun, because we will be able to learn about all the things around us.”
By Graham Ratermann
Are you headed to the trip? What are you looking forward to?