Mixsonian Larry

5th Grade
Camp Crystal

Mrs Driscoll at Camp CrystalMrs. Dryscoll with our 5th grade hiking group.

Larry 5th GradeIn September I started the fifth grade with Mrs. Lewis as my teacher and I started doing better making B’s in reading, English, spelling, writing and Social Studies.  Oddly I did poorly in Arithmetic and Science which in later years became my best subjects.  In the fall all the fifth grade classes at Littlewood went on a day long field trip to Camp Crystal Lake.  [photo]  This was a fifth grade ritual for all schools in Alachua county, spending a school day at the camp which is owned by the county. I had heard about Camp Crystal from my older sister Brenda, who had gone the previous year so I knew a little about it. The week before the trip we given permission slips to bring home for our parents sign which on the day of the trip we gave the teacher as we boarded the bus which took us on an hour drive out to Camp Crystal.  This was my first time on a bus as I always walked or road my bike to school so I was excited about the bus ride as much as going to the camp.  There were two busses as there was quite a crowd since there were several fifth grade classes, along with the teachers and quite a few parents as chaperones, there was over a hundred that day.   We arrived at the camp, got out of the busses, and gathered for a short lecture about the events that day.  There were several options, a nature hike, crafts, archery and others as well as swimming in the lake although when we were there it was in the fall and too cool to go swimming.  We were given a few minutes to confer with our friends to see what they wanted to do and then were divided into groups based on what events we decided upon and off we went.  I had decided on the nature hike which gathered at one of the buildings where we were given socks filled with sulfur which we banged against our ankles to keep ticks away and off we went on a path through the woods.  Our guide was Mrs. Driscoll who was the camp director for over many years who would along the way would stop and show us things telling us about them, there was deer moss on the ground which could be eaten, in a ten foot high cliff with small holes in it which the bumble bees lived, we stopped and listened at a tapping noise, “That is a woodpecker.” she said and then asked, “Can anyone spot its red head?”  I developed an appreciation for walking in the woods and observing what is around me that day from her that has carried with me throughout my life.  At lunch time all the kids gathered in the large dining hall and where we formed a line going through a door into the kitchen, getting our food, exiting through another door and then sitting at one of the many tables in the room to eat our lunch.  Camp Crystal was a wonderful experience and by an interesting chain of events I would return there fifty some years later with my dad. Mrs. Driscoll died at the age of 98 in 2021.

Camp Crystal - Littlewood class of 1962
Yes, I'm in there somewhere.

Updated: 08-02-2022