Eastwood Elementary School fifth graders spent Tuesday and Wednesday night camped outside on school property as part of the annual Camp Eastwood experience.
“The kids woke up soaking wet this morning,” fifth grade teacher Camron Pope said Wednesday afternoon.
During the day, students took part in seven 45-minute classes that related to the outdoors, such as tree studies, panning for gold, macroinvertebrates, Fibonacci sequences and others.
“I really like to do the classes,” fifth grader Lilly Nichols said. “The ones I like are Fibonacci, tree talk and gold panning. Yesterday I also got to do macroinvertebrates, and we caught lots of bugs in the creek.”
After the classes let out, students participated in a line-dancing session to “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, led by teachers Erica Workman and Pope.
On Wednesday afternoon, Roseburg Public Schools interim superintendent Lee Paterson even joined in on the dancing.
There was also plenty of recreational time, where students got the chance to play disc golf or capture the flag, or do unstructured activities like pulling each other around on tarps and kicking a ball around.
Students were taught camp songs, and they participated in a Native American drum circle Wednesday evening.
“They’re engaged in learning all day,” Pope said. “They are having fun and learning something.”
Fifth grader Cruz Dirksen’s mind was focused on the food.
Eating was his favorite part of the camp, where he was served “hamburgers, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and dessert.” Pope said tacos were on the menu Wednesday night.
Camp Eastwood has taken place for seven years. Prior to that, fifth graders from the school would take a camping trip to Camp Hancock in Fossil.
“Being in your own backyard makes it easier, less stressful and you still have the camp experience,” Workman said.
Teacher Cindy Long has participated in the camping experience at Eastwood for nearly 15 years, both at Camp Hancock and at Camp Eastwood.
She said that although Camp Hancock was amazing, having the opportunity to do it closer to home has been beneficial to campers, families and staff.
Children who were sick for one day were able to rejoin their classmates, parents are able to help out when they can, younger siblings can check in and family members of the staff were able to join in some of the camp’s activities.
About 50 volunteers helped out at Camp Eastwood this year, including parents, staff and AmeriCorps volunteers from Umpqua Watersheds.
The camp is free to students with the help of Measure 99 funding, and a grant through the extension service and lottery dollars. The school also hosts several fundraisers throughout the year to make sure all kids can attend the camp.
Throughout the years the school has been able to purchase tents, sleeping bags and a hand washing station for the campers.
This year 75 students participated in the camp, 72 spent the night on campus and three students were day campers.
Amilia Vandyke and Lucy Harvey shared a tent and Lucy said “it takes a minute to get to sleep, because everybody is pretty loud.”
Lucy had experience camping with her family, but Amilia was new to camping but said she’d love to do it again.
Police make arrest in Green shooting incident
A Roseburg man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly shooting at a woman 15 times in Green District, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives had been following up on leads after a vehicle near Taco Bell on Grant Smith Road was struck by gunfire Sunday night.
The investigation found that an employee of a business in the area was getting picked up from work when a man, later identified as 36-year-old Joshua Preston, began shooting at her, according to police.
Neither the employee nor the driver of the vehicle were injured, despite being fired at approximately 15 times, according to police. Police said Preston knew the employee.
Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, deputies contacted Preston and arrested him on suspicion of attempting to commit a Class A felony, being a felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, pointing a firearm at another, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, second-degree criminal mischief and menacing.
Preston was lodged at the Douglas County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.
The Roseburg community lost one of its most engaged and passionate members this past weekend.
Fred Smith, a Roseburg resident for more than 60 years, died Saturday at the age of 92.
Smith, who was born in Portsmouth, England, and served in the British Army during World War II, immigrated to the U.S. in 1951 with his wife, Pam, where they made Roseburg their home. He worked for Roseburg Forest Products for 37 years.
“He was quite the man,” said Mike Nores, executive director of the child abuse intervention nonprofit Douglas CARES. “This man was all over the place in the community. If there was a helping hand that was needed, there was Fred.”
Smith dedicated his time to countless community service initiatives, Nores said. After being raised in an abusive home, much of Smith’s volunteer work revolved around helping children in need.
He was a founding member of Douglas CARES and served on the nonprofit’s board for years. He was also part of the Douglas County Child Fatality Review Team and the Learning Child Committee at the Mercy Foundation.
The causes he was involved with were diverse. He volunteered for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the county mental health advisory board, Special Olympics Oregon and the Umpqua Gleaners.
In 1997, Smith was recognized as Roseburg First Citizen, an annual award given by the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce to someone particularly immersed in the community.
Seven years later, Smith was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer work by the governor. He was nominated by Nores’ wife and former Douglas CARES executive director, Evelyn Badger-Nores, who at the time said, “He’s spent nearly every day of his retired life volunteering in one way or another.”
It wasn’t only Smith’s community engagement that distinguished him, Nores said.
“He had just a wonderful family,” Nores said. Smith leaves behind three children, six grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, one great great grandchild, a daughter-in-law and two sons-in-law.
Scott Gilley, executive director of the children’s advocacy group CASA of Douglas County, said Smith was “small in stature, but large in character.”
Through CASA, Smith advocated for hundreds of children experiencing abuse, Gilley said.
“Someone who has been through it has the resiliency to have endured it and come out on the other side,” Gilley said.
He said Smith’s personal experience with child abuse gave him a special ability to help abused children build resiliency.
Gilley asks CASA volunteers to participate for at least two years, because children who receive services from the nonprofit need stability in often rapidly changing situations. Smith far surpassed that request, leaving behind a legacy of commitment and longevity, Gilley said.
“To have someone volunteer for 25 years, I mean, that’s a goal that you want for all of your volunteers,” Gilley said. “He always followed through with whatever he said he was going to do, and he was always there.”
Christy Smith said while her grandfather’s walls were covered with awards for volunteer work, Fred Smith didn’t do it for the recognition.
His reward was “being in a store and having a woman come up and say, ‘Hey, do you remember me? You helped me get me child back,’” Christy Smith said.
Smith taught his family “the meaning of love and sacrifice,” she said. “He did amazing things. He taught me to never give up on people that struggle, and to love and give back to the community.”