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By Karen Schmidt

My Fourth/Fifth Grade Class journeyed to the Everglades, as a finale to their studies of Florida Geography and History and Florida’s Eco-Systems.  Myself, two courageous grown-ups (Kelly Ford and Aaron Leroux), and 24 innocent children made the trip in two rental vans and a cargo car.  We wanted to experience the Everglades as the Miccosukee and Seminole Native Americans had, and see an eco-system unlike any other in the world.  Our trip was successful on both counts, as we fully experienced the harsh conditions and saw an amazing, complex array of water, plants and animals.

We camped for three nights, in three different locations (trying to out-run the mosquitos), and for many of the children this was their first time camping. Have you heard about the mosquitos in the Everglades?  I had, but like so much in life, you can’t truly understand something until you experience it!  It was EXTREME-Mosquito camping, but each night I lay in my tent and listened to the laughter of the children (often very late into the night!), and considered myself a happy camper.