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Elementary Connections Group

Elementary Connections Group logoThe Elementary Connections Group, formerly the Parent Advisory Committee, is devoted to bringing nature, families, educators, and the community together to create unique and memorable experiences that nurture our children's minds. The group is focused on building a stronger school community through experiences like elementary camps and family mentorships.


Volunteering & Outreach

The Elementary Connections Group expanded a couple of years ago to include more school/classroom volunteering and outreach. Each year, we look for anyone interested in taking on the following roles:

  • Lower Elementary Classroom Volunteer Liaison
  • Upper Elementary Classroom Volunteer Liaison
  • Elder-Outreach Liaison

With the 2021-2022 school year being back in person, ECG will work on volunteer and senior outreach within the schools when volunteers are allowed back into the buildings.

Below are basic summaries of the roles, but these can be molded to what is needed. If you are interested or have any questions, please reach out to Adrianne Quinn at adrianne.quinn@gmail.com.

Lower & Upper Elementary Classroom Volunteer Liaison:

An individual for each school to work with the Parent Liaison, teachers and Principal. The Classroom Volunteer Liaison would determine what teachers need/want volunteers, if they have a Classroom Coordinator, encourage the use of family members for classroom volunteers, help to pinpoint best-practices for recruiting and communicating, etc. The Liaison would help to promote classroom volunteers and would assist in finding Classroom Coordinators, as needed.

Elder-Outreach Liaison:

An individual to lead elder-outreach via direct mail invitation. The goal is to encourage inter-generational learning and to incorporate elders from the community into Classroom Volunteering. Generally speaking, the elder community does not utilize online sign-ups, etc. As such, scheduling elder volunteers would require direct contact with both the elders and the school administration. 


Camp

Ferndale Elementary and the Elementary Connections Group organizes and plans camps for each grade every school year. The camps are an opportunity for all students in Ferndale Elementary to participate in special activities in an outdoor setting. The First Fives, Kindergarten and 1st graders enjoy a one day outdoor camp. The 2nd and 3rd graders have two days of camp. The 4th grade camp is two days with one overnight stay, and the 5th grade camp is three days and 2 nights.

Camp projects, trips, and activities are theme‐based, structured around the Common Core Curriculum, and strongly supported by our teachers and administrators. This year’s theme will be “My World”. Parents/guardians work with teachers to plan and facilitate these programs. Camp is not a field trip.  Camp is so much more!  Families come together to plan, coordinate, teach, and implement this wonderful outdoor learning experience for all our children.

In order to run Camp efficiently, 1 parent/guardian volunteer is needed for approximately every 3 students participating in Camp.  Camp is entirely Parent/Guardian planned and run. Our wonderful teachers are there to approve parents/guardians’ Camp vision, review/approve lesson plans and oversee student behavior on the day-of, but otherwise, this day is basically for the teachers’ enjoyment and the parents to manage. Please see the individual camp tabs below for what volunteer positions are needed.

A combined one day camp for First Fives, Kindergarten and 1st Grade students with parent/guardian designed and led centers around the "My World" theme. We are still looking for Center Developers/Leaders. If you are interested or want more information, please contact the Camp Coordinators below or Adrianne Quinn at adrianne.quinn@gmail.com.

Location

TBD (Local)

Date

Thursday, May 19th

Friday, May 19th - Rain Make-up Day

Cost

$10

Camp Coordinators

Déja Vasquez

Kate Kokotovic

E-mail Camp Coordinators

Volunteers Needed

We are ALL volunteers with a common goal:

  1. to actively participate in our children’s outdoor education Camp in conjunction with teacher overview and
  2. to create a fun and engaging camp with the purpose of supporting classroom curriculum/learning.  K/1 Camps are combined to encourage mentoring both students and parents/guardians.

The annual theme is curriculum-based and strongly supported by our teachers and administrators. There are many ways to create a wonderful learning environment with these topics and there are many resources available at the school and beyond.  Volunteers are encouraged to utilize all current resources as well as develop their own new twists! We work with the budget afforded us through Elementary Connection Group fundraising only. Donations are allowed & encouraged.

*Accommodations are made for special needs students and, of course, our wonderful grandparent volunteers!  You must let your Camp Coordinator know in advance of any special accommodations that need to be made.  

Camp Coordinator: NEED 1 PERSON 

Day-of Camp Attendance Not Required, but Encouraged

  • The Camp Coordinator plans, organizes, and orchestrates the annual camps for all students. This committee will work in partnership with the classroom teachers to organize, plan details, and carry out a successful camp experience which are based on themes each year that align with the grade-level content expectations. If you are willing to oversee the grade-level camp planning committee by organizing the meetings, keeping track of deadlines, and coordinating volunteers, this job is for YOU (and a partner if you like)!  Lots of support is available from past coordinators

Center Planners

Day-of Camp Attendance Not Required

  • If you cannot attend Camp, but have a great idea for a Center and would love to develop it and then teach it to someone who can lead it on the day of Camp, this job is for you!  Sometimes a full-day at Camp is a tough commitment. You may find that once you’ve created a Center, you just have to be there to see the kids enjoy it! In which case, take the day off work and join us even if it’s just for part of the day.

Center Leader

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Develops concept for specific Center
  • Prepares Lesson Plan
  • Obtains all supplies needed, whether from Camp Closet or approved purchase by the Treasurer
  • Communicates with Camp Coordinator if need specific items to be donated
  • Sets up Center on day of Camp
  • Runs Center (with Helpers) on day of Camp
  • Cleans up Center after Camp

Center Helper

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Helps the Center Leader on the day of Camp with set-up, teaching center and clean-up

Group Leader 

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Distributes name-tags, bags/bandanas at the beginning of Camp to students in group.
  • Leads group of ~ 10 students (give or take) through cycles of Centers at Camp 
  • Your child cannot be in your Group

Group Helper

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Helps the Group Leader corral kids through the cycles of Centers on the day of Camp
  • Makes bathroom runs if students need it
  • Your child cannot be in your Group

Set-Up / Clean-Up

Part Time Attendance Required

  • If you have limited time in the morning or afternoon, consider just helping the Centers set-up or clean-up.  We may need volunteers to deliver extra tables or other supplies in the morning on the day of Camp from the school to the park, or back again in the afternoon

Photographer

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • We love seeing the happy faces of our Campers!  If you enjoy taking pictures and have the ability to share those photos via Facebook on our Ferndale Elementary Schools’ Parent Network Facebook page and providing the Overall Camp Coordinator with a digital copy for archival purposes, then we’d love to have you!  There are certain students that cannot be photographed, which our Photographer will need to be cautious of and respect.

Timekeeper

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • If you have a loud voice and/or a whistle and an accurate device to measure time, this job is for you!  Timekeeper is a great role in that you are able to wander Camp and visit all the Centers.

At-home Help

Attendance Not Required

Two days of camp for 2nd and 3rd grade with one day overlapping for 2nd and 3rd Grade Camp.  Those grades will be combined that day for "Center Day" to encourage mentorship. We are still looking for Center Developers/Leaders. If you are interested or want more information, please contact the Camp Coordinators below or Adrianne Quinn at adrianne.quinn@gmail.com.

Location

TBD (Local)

Dates:

Tuesday, May 10th - 2nd Grade Camp

Wednesday, May 11th - 2nd & 3rd Grade Camp

Thursday, May 12th - 3rd Grade Camp

Friday, May 13th - Rain Make-up Day for 2nd & 3rd Grade Camp

Cost

$25

Camp Coordinator

Sylvia Oatley

Liza Strokis

Michelle Donaldson

Anne Conte

E-mail Camp Coordinators

Volunteers Needed:

We are ALL volunteers with a common goal:

  1. to actively participate in our children’s outdoor education Camp in conjunction with teacher overview and
  2. to create a fun and engaging camp with the purpose of supporting classroom curriculum/learning.  2/3 Camps are combined to encourage mentoring both students and parents.

The annual theme is curriculum-based and strongly supported by our teachers and administrators. There are many ways to create a wonderful learning environment with these topics and there are many resources available at the school and beyond.  Volunteers are encouraged to utilize all current resources as well as develop their own new twists! We work with the budget afforded us through Elementary Connection Group fundraising only. Donations are allowed & encouraged.

*Accommodations are made for special needs students and, of course, our wonderful grandparent volunteers!  You must let your Camp Coordinator know in advance of any special accommodations that need to be made.  

Center Planners

Day-of Camp Attendance Not Required

  • If you cannot attend Camp, but have a great idea for a Center and would love to develop it and then teach it to someone who can lead it on the day of Camp, this job is for you!  Sometimes a full-day at Camp is a tough commitment. You may find that once you’ve created a Center, you just have to be there to see the kids enjoy it! In which case, take the day off work and join us even if it’s just for part of the day.

Center Leader

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Develops concept for specific Center
  • Prepares Lesson Plan
  • Obtains all supplies needed, whether from Camp Closet or approved purchase by the Treasurer
  • Communicates with Camp Coordinator if need specific items to be donated
  • Sets up Center on day of Camp
  • Runs Center (with Helpers) on day of Camp
  • Cleans up Center after Camp

Center Helper

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Helps the Center Leader on the day of Camp with set-up, teaching center and clean-up

Group Leader 

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Distributes name-tags, bags/bandanas at the beginning of Camp to students in group.
  • Leads group of ~ 10 students (give or take) through cycles of Centers at Camp 
  • Your child cannot be in your Group

Group Helper

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • Helps the Group Leader corral kids through the cycles of Centers on the day of Camp
  • Makes bathroom runs if students need it
  • Your child cannot be in your Group

Set-Up / Clean-Up

Part Time Attendance Required

  • If you have limited time in the morning or afternoon, consider just helping the Centers set-up or clean-up.  We may need volunteers to deliver extra tables or other supplies in the morning on the day of Camp from the school to the park, or back again in the afternoon

Photographer

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • We love seeing the happy faces of our Campers!  If you enjoy taking pictures and have the ability to share those photos via Facebook on our Ferndale Elementary Schools’ Parent Network Facebook page and providing the Overall Camp Coordinator with a digital copy for archival purposes, then we’d love to have you!  There are certain students that cannot be photographed, which our Photographer will need to be cautious of and respect.

Timekeeper

Full Day-of Camp Attendance Required

  • If you have a loud voice and/or a whistle and an accurate device to measure time, this job is for you!  Timekeeper is a great role in that you are able to wander Camp and visit all the Centers.

At-home Help

Attendance Not Required

The 4th grade camp is the first year of overnight camp. It is two days and one night of camp.  This camp experience needs male & female chaperones for the day and night portion of the camp. A camp information folder will be coming home with students and will include necessary forms and more detailed information.

Location

Camp Tamarack

Dates

Wednesday, May 25th - Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Cost

$100

Camp Coordinators

Carrie Randall

Nick Schultz

Franna Maycock

Reina Foster

Email Coordinators

Forms Due: April 11th, 2022

Final Payment Due: May 2nd, 2022

Volunteers Needed:

Camp would not be a success without parents/guardians who volunteer as chaperones.  This is the time that we ask for as many who are willing and able to volunteer to enhance your child’s camp experience.  We have many positions that need to be filled and it is imperative that all parents/guardians generously volunteer. Please remember that camp can’t take place without your support! 

4th Grade Camp Volunteer Sign-up

Camp fees cover overnight lodging, meals, snacks, staff & activities.  As a parent/guardian volunteer, your lodging will be free of charge and include all meals & snacks.  Parents/guardians can also participate in activities throughout camp, although there a few activities that are reserved just for the children.  Please see the Volunteer Packet below for all necessary forms. 

Volunteer Background Check - REQUIRED

At camp your child will participate in activities conducted by Camp staff with the support of parent volunteers.  Volunteers are needed for all activities, for free time, and overnight supervision.   

We will have a total of 13 cabins at Tamarack to accommodate all of the children. Each cabin will need parent/guardian supervision. Parents/guardians spending the night must be at camp by 8:00 p.m. and able to stay with their cabin group until breakfast at 9:00 a.m. the next morning.  The facility has showers and volunteering parents/guardians will have meals provided for them as well.

Volunteer Commitment Forms and other paperwork are attached below, and have been  sent home in the Informational Folders. Positions will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  Once all assignments have been made, you will receive a copy of the schedule and will be expected to attend at the times you have agreed to serve.  

As you will see, camp is a very fun, exciting, and educational experience for both parents/guardians and children alike.  Please partner with us and donate your time generously to make this year’s 4th grade camp a success.

If you need copies of any paperwork from the 4th Grade Informational Folder, please see below:

PDF Document4th Grade Camp - Return to School Packet

Includes the Following Pages:

Camp Cover Letter w/ List of Forms to Be Returned

Camp Invoice - E-mail ECG to get a new Individual Invoice

Permission Slip

Responsibility Contract

Overnight Field Trip Emergency Health Form

Authorization to Administer Medication

Authorization for Non-Prescribed Medication

Volunteer Commitment Form

Volunteer Registration Form

PDF Document4th Grade Camp - Keep at Home Packet

Includes the Following Pages:

Coordinator Camp Letter

Camp General Info Page

Packing List

COVID Protocols

Calling All Volunteers Checklist

Coordinator Volunteer Letter

Camp Chaperone Guidelines

The 5th grade camp is the culmination of a student's elementary camp experiences. It is the longest camp experience; three days and two nights of camp. This camp experience needs male & female chaperones for the day and night portion of the camp. A camp information folder will be coming home with students and will include necessary forms and more detailed information.

Location:

Camp Cavell

Dates:

Tuesday, May 31st - Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

Cost:

$150

Camp Coordinator:

Adrianne Quinn

E-mail Camp Coordinator

Volunteers Needed:

Camp would not be a success without parents/guardians who volunteer as chaperones.  This is the time that we ask for as many who are willing and able to volunteer to enhance your child’s camp experience.  We have many positions that need to be filled and it is imperative that all parents generously volunteer. Please remember that camp can’t take place without your support! 

5th Grade Camp Volunteer Sign-up

Camp fees cover overnight lodging, meals, snacks, staff & activities.  As a parent/guardian volunteer, your lodging will be free of charge and include all meals & snacks.  Parents/guardians can also participate in activities throughout camp, although there a few activities that are reserved just for the children.  

Volunteer Background Check - REQUIRED

At camp your child will participate in activities conducted by Camp staff with the support of parent volunteers.  Volunteers are needed for all activities, for free time, and overnight supervision.

We will have a total of 13 cabins at Cavell to accommodate all of the children.  Each cabin will need parent/guardian supervision. Parents/guardians spending the night must be at camp by 8:00 p.m. and able to stay with their cabin group until breakfast at 9:00 a.m. the next morning.  The facility has showers and volunteering parents/guardians will have meals provided for them as well. We strongly encourage parents/guardians to stay only one night at camp to give other parents/guardians the opportunity to participate.  Overnight volunteering is a popular choice.

Volunteer Commitment Forms and other paperwork are attached below, and have been  sent home in the Informational Folders. Positions will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  Once all assignments have been made, you will receive a copy of the schedule and will be expected to attend at the times you have agreed to serve.  

As you will see, camp is a very fun, exciting, and educational experience for both parents/guardians and children alike.  Please partner with us and donate your time generously to make this year’s 5th grade camp a success.

If you need copies of any paperwork from the 5th Grade Informational Folder, please see below:

PDF Document5th Grade Camp - Return to School Packet

Includes the Following Pages:

Camp Cover Letter w/ List of Forms to Be Returned

Camp Invoice - E-mail ECG to get a new Individual Invoice

Permission Slip

Responsibility Contract

Overnight Field Trip Emergency Health Form

Authorization to Administer Medication

Authorization for Non-Prescribed Medication

Volunteer Commitment Form

Volunteer Registration Form

PDF Document5th Grade Camp - Keep at Home Packet

Includes the Following Pages:

Coordinator Camp Letter

Camp General Info Page

Packing List

COVID Protocols

Calling All Volunteers Checklist

Coordinator Volunteer Letter

Camp Chaperone Guidelines

 


Camp Sponsors

Do you remember the first time you went away to camp? Did you make new friends, try new things, sit and enjoy a campfire? For students in Ferndale Elementary Schools, attending camp is an essential part of the school year. It provides an opportunity to take learning outside the classroom and into the community. ECG has a budget of just under $50,000. While the majority of the money comes from fees paid by families, there are a large number of those who cannot afford Camp. More than half of our Ferndale Elementary students qualify for free or reduced lunch. ECG ensures that EVERY child has the opportunity to go to Camp through fundraising and sponsors.

This is where we need your help. If you work for, own or know of a company that would be interested in sponsoring Ferndale Elementary Camp, please send us an e-mail.

As a sponsor, your business’ logo/name will be placed on the back of the annual Camp T-Shirt, one of the many Camp traditions. Every one of our students receive a shirt, which includes designs by fifth graders on the front. Additional details about each sponsorship level are listed below.

 

 

  • Large logo on the back of our Camp T-Shirts which will be distributed to approximately 1,000 kids and adults.

  • Large logo on banner at each of our six Camps which are attended by not only kids, but hundreds of parents. 

  • Facebook shout-outs (Parent Groups and Public Forums) with click back to your website.

 

  • Medium logo on the back of our Camp T-Shirts which will be distributed to approximately 1,000 kids and adults. 

  • Medium logo on banner at each of our six Camps which are attended by not only kids, but hundreds of parents. 

  • Facebook shout-outs (Parent Groups and Public Forums).

 

  • Small logo on the back of our Camp T-Shirts which will be distributed to approximately 1,000 kids and adults. 

  • Small logo on banner at each of our six Camps which are attended by not only kids, but hundreds of parents.  

  • Facebook shout-outs (Parent Groups and Public Forums). 

 

  • Company Name listed on the back of our Camp T-Shirts which will be distributed to approximately 1,000 kids and adults.

  • Company name on banner at each of our six Camps which are attended by not only kids, but hundreds of parents. 

  • Facebook shout-outs (Parent Groups and Public Forums).


Fundraisers

Elementary Connections Group plans and organizes group and individual fundraisers throughout the year. Group fundraisers help to support overall camp costs, such as t-shirts, camp fees, etc. The individual fundraisers help families raise money for their children's camp costs. Below are the individual fundraisers we typically plan for the year and their current status:

  • Winter - Norwood Coffee Sales
  • Winter - Detroit Piston's Game
    • Sunday, March 13th at 3:00pm
    • Tickets: $30 total including all fees
    • Purchase tickets at http://fevo.me/ferndale
    • More Information Below
  • Spring - Butter Braided Bread

The Elementary Connections Group also hold several general fundraisers throughout the school year where the proceeds benefit the general camp scholarship fund for Ferndale Public Schools Elementary students and then general ECG funds for outdoor learning and community outreach. Below are the general fundraisers we typically plan for the year.

If you are interested in assisting with one of the fundraisers, please send us an e-mail.

During the 2019-2020 school year, we raised over $4000 for camp scholarships and over 150 students had fully paid for their camp costs through fundraising. Individual funds raised will be carried over to the 2021-2022 school year for camp costs.

The Norwood St Coffee Roasters Fundraiser was new to the Elementary Connections Group in the Winter of 2019. It helps families raise money to pay for their individual camp costs. Bags of whole bean or ground coffee are sold for $14 per bag, and each bag sold earns $5 for a student's camp costs.

In the Winter of 2021, students raised $1285, which added an additional $235 for Camp Scholarships and another 30 students fully paid for their camp costs, along with several students adding a large amount to their camp accounts! Thank you for all of the support of Camp!

Detroit PistonsThe Detroit Pistons Game is a fundraiser that helps families raise money to pay for their individual camp costs. $5 from every ticket sold goes towards students' camp costs. More information will be available at a later date.

  • Game: Pistons vs. L.A. Clippers
  • Sunday, March 13th at 3:00pm
  • Tickets: $30 total including all fees
  • Purchase tickets at http://fevo.me/ferndale or the QR Code below:

Orders are made online only and will be sent electronically. If there are any questions, please reach out to:

Camp Costs - ferndale.elementaryconnections@gmail.com

The Butter Braid Bread is one of the fundraisers that the Elementary Connections Group holds in the spring to help families raise money to pay for their individual camp costs. Bread is sold for $14 per loaf, and each student earns $6 for their camp costs.

Orders will be made online ONLY this year, and payments will be made by credit card and collected through the Butter Bread Pastry website. Click the link for your child's school to create an individual website for your student that you can send to family & friends to order. Please take a look at the flyer for more information.

  • Registration Links:
  • Last Day to Order: March 23, 2022
  • Order Pick-ups: April 7, 2022
  • Smaller orders (Lower under 6, Upper under 8) will be sent home with students. Larger orders MUST be picked up at the school on April 7, 2022, since the Butter Bread needs to stay frozen. 

Questions: ferndale.elementaryconnections@gmail.com

In the Spring of 2021, the Butterfly Larvae Fundraiser sold 75 cups of 2 larvae and 148 butterfly kits (nets and 4 larvae). Think of all the amazing Painted Lady butterflies that we helped hatch! Students raised over $350 for Camp Scholarships!

Thank you for all of the support of Camp!

Meetings:

Elementary Connections Group is holding a Camp Information Meeting:

Please attend to learn about Camp and provide your valuable input!

Date: Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

Time: 6:30PM

Location: Virtual

Join Google Meeting
https://meet.google.com/cmo-tqxb-xaw

 

The next joint PTA & Elementary Connections Group meeting will be held:

Date: TBD

Time: 6:30pm

Location: TBD

This is a joint meeting with the Ferndale Elementary PTA.


2021-2022 Leadership Team

Our active Elementary Connections Leadership Team is proud to make Ferndale Schools more accessible and really focus on building a stronger school community.

Co-Presidents
 

Vice-President
 

  • April Campbell

Treasurer
 

  • Sarah Elturk

The Elementary Connections Group can be contacted at: ferndale.elementaryconnections@gmail.com


The next Family Outdoor Nature Walk will be:

Date: TBD

Time: TBD

Location: TBD