UNION — Some local children had the opportunity to travel the “Oregon Trail” Tuesday morning as part of the Activity Fun Camp at USC Union.
The historic Oregon Trail is the 2,200-mile trail that connected the Missouri River with the valleys of Oregon. The trail began to take shape in 1811 and in its early years was used extensively by fur trappers and traders. Beginning in 1836, it was used by wagon trains carrying settlers and later by ranchers, farmers, miners, and businessmen. The use of the trail began to decline with construction of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869, but today highways such as Interstate 80 follow the same course passing through the towns that the trail once served.
While it’s a long way from the Main Building of the USC Union campus to the Oregon Trail, that didn’t stop the children participating in this week’s Activity Fun Camp from traveling along it as part of a competitive computer activity.
USC Union Administrative Assistant for Continuing Education Kaitlyn Wade is one of two university officials overseeing this week’s activity camp. Wade said Tuesday that the children attending the camp divided into four groups who each competed to see which could most successfully navigate the trail and cover the most distance in the allotted time for the competition. She said each team had to deal with the challenges of traveling the trail including fording rivers and crossing deserts; dealing with the weather; and hunting in order to secure supplies of food.
The progress of each team and on a projection screen in the room and on their computers which also provided information on the condition of each team member as they made their way along the trail. Those who successfully overcame the challenges placed in their way continued to move along the trail toward possible victory. Those who repeatedly failed to do so ending up “dying,” though since this is was a computer game the children more often than not made a miraculous recovery and continued playing.
The teams were:
Team I — Kameron Zimmerman, Tyger Suggs, Warren Childers, and Abby Gregory
Team II — Malachi Gibson, Emma Gregory, and Kaitlyn Gist
Team III — Nathan Weaver, William Childers, and Hannah Paschall
Team IV — Alyssa Rhodes, Bryson Weaver, and Keldin Zimmerman
In the end, it was Team IV that made it the furthest on the Oregon Trail.
The activity camp continues today with the children reading about bees and being visited by local beekeepers; making posters; playing hide and seek in the Main Building; having craft time; and attended a science presentation.