A Sturgis Public Schools tradition continues this spring, after being interrupted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last week and again this week, fifth-grade students went to Camp Fort Hill for a series on outdoor education. 

Pam Keeslar, a fifth-grade teacher who coordinates the camp along with fellow teacher Nathan Schwartz, said camp began for Sturgis students in 1978. She confirmed that with camp manager Dave Ludders and Mike Reed, a now-retired teacher who had launched the camp that year. 

According to Reed, fifth-graders initially attended camp for five days and four nights. More recently, camp was a three-day, two-night event. In 2021, an adjustment had to be made, said Mike Miller, principal at Eastwood Elementary. Pandemic restrictions prevented students from staying overnight, he said, and the camp was extended to five partial days.