Orchard Teacher Travels More Than 850 Miles Around Indiana For Epic Summer Camp

Even though teachers are right in the middle of summer break, Orchard second grade teacher, Nichole Cazares, has been busy coordinating awesome and unique summer camps here at the school.
 
One of her camps provided an opportunity to learn about environmental education while building a house for fairies and gnomes. A camp last month provided an fun opportunity to go camping with your favorite doll or lovie. Campers are currently exploring Space Camp with Mrs. Cazares, which includes an overnight at Orchard and a visit to the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium!
 
While the camps listed above certainly seem fun, Mrs. Cazares wrapped up a summer camp last week that nine children will never forget. The Indiana Obscura crew traveled 875 miles around Indiana, visiting interesting and historical sites along the way. The group made 26 official stops, took five walking tours, and six guided tours.
 
Keep scrolling to read more from Mrs. Cazares and see pictures from their five-day journey.
 
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    • Day 1: We visited the Mentone Egg (the heaviest egg in the world), left apples at Johnny Appleseed

      Day 1: We visited the Mentone Egg (the heaviest egg in the world), left apples at Johnny Appleseed's grave, painted another layer on the world's largest ball of paint, and we visited some of the only remaining Native mounds in the midwest! 

    • Day 2: Started off by visiting the unique grave of Vivian Allison in Connersville. Her dollhouse was renovated with incredible detail. The oldest grave we found was from 1825! Next stop was the Warm Candle Company to check out their giant candles, as well as their peacocks and peahens. What a combo…candles and peacocks! ? We spent our lunch in Richmond, IN checking out more than 80 murals painted all over town. Some of them are over old windows, on the side of old trolley cars, and buildings. We found a fun old cop car and a mural depicting the underground railroad.    That takes us to our last stop for the day; the Levi Coffin House. This incredible house was the Grand Central Station of the underground railroad on the Indiana/Ohio border. This family helped more than 1,000 slaves find their way to freedom. We were fortunate enough to tour the actual house, the barn, and experience hands-on some of the hardships of slavery and the paths they took to freedom. 

      Day 2: Started off by visiting the unique grave of Vivian Allison in Connersville. Her dollhouse was renovated with incredible detail. The oldest grave we found was from 1825! Next stop was the Warm Candle Company to check out their giant candles, as well as their peacocks and peahens. What a combo…candles and peacocks! ? We spent our lunch in Richmond, IN checking out more than 80 murals painted all over town. Some of them are over old windows, on the side of old trolley cars, and buildings. We found a fun old cop car and a mural depicting the underground railroad.    That takes us to our last stop for the day; the Levi Coffin House. This incredible house was the Grand Central Station of the underground railroad on the Indiana/Ohio border. This family helped more than 1,000 slaves find their way to freedom. We were fortunate enough to tour the actual house, the barn, and experience hands-on some of the hardships of slavery and the paths they took to freedom. 

    • Day 3: We made it to the halfway point! Today we visited a bony fish statue in Plainfield. We learned a lot about feline behavior at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Pointe. Then we walked the Smith Memorial Labyrinth in Terre Haute, with a special grand finale touring the only working rotary jail in the United States!

      Day 3: We made it to the halfway point! Today we visited a bony fish statue in Plainfield. We learned a lot about feline behavior at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Pointe. Then we walked the Smith Memorial Labyrinth in Terre Haute, with a special grand finale touring the only working rotary jail in the United States!

    • Day 4: A very busy day in the books working our way back to Indianapolis from Oolitic! ? I liked to call this schlepp my ode to almost all things Limestone-lol. We started in Oolitic and visited the limestone statue of Joe Palooka and the many other, now vacant, limestone buildings on the main street. We scratched our brains at the largest anatomical statue of the brain on the IU campus at the Psychology building (sorry Purdue fans). We made 3 stops in Nashville IN: 1) The General Store and Bakery for an Indiana favorite: Fried biscuits and apple butter.  2) The 1905 US Population Center plaque. 3) House at Stone Head, which is a carved mile marker that has literally lost its head and is still part of an ongoing investigation. ? We ended our trip with a tour and tasting of "Not Just Popcorn".  They make over 200 varieties of delicious popcorn. 

      Day 4: A very busy day in the books working our way back to Indianapolis from Oolitic! ? I liked to call this schlepp my ode to almost all things Limestone-lol. We started in Oolitic and visited the limestone statue of Joe Palooka and the many other, now vacant, limestone buildings on the main street. We scratched our brains at the largest anatomical statue of the brain on the IU campus at the Psychology building (sorry Purdue fans). We made 3 stops in Nashville IN: 1) The General Store and Bakery for an Indiana favorite: Fried biscuits and apple butter.  2) The 1905 US Population Center plaque. 3) House at Stone Head, which is a carved mile marker that has literally lost its head and is still part of an ongoing investigation. ? We ended our trip with a tour and tasting of "Not Just Popcorn".  They make over 200 varieties of delicious popcorn. 

    • Day 5: We started near Eagle Creek at a statue known as Gaylan

      Day 5: We started near Eagle Creek at a statue known as Gaylan's Bear. After that, we moved to a buried Pontiac Bonneville paying homage to Cadillac Ranch in Texas and yet honoring the roots and traditions of the neighborhood. Next on our adventure was a fountain square alley where "tagging" is encouraged.  The group unanimously agreed that the dog with the Speed Beard necklace was their favorite.    Then we took in some history at the Landmark for Peace statue. We read Robert Kennedy's speech from the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and stood in the place where he gave the speech. These kiddos wisely noticed many things he spoke about still apply today. ? We followed that up with a more light-hearted trip to some noticeable landmarks around IN businesses: The muffler man Mr. Bendo and Structure Man.   Heading towards the end of the day, but we still made room to picnic just below the crown of Crown Hill Cemetery after checking out the graves of Dillinger, President Harrison, and James Whitcomb Riley and taking in a view of the city from 800 feet above sea level.    Finally, our last few stops were tours of two very different places. We toured the Indiana Medical History Museum and Medicinal Gardens and Indy's Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum. What a week!

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