InterMountain Education Service District’s Outdoor School (ODS) site celebrated Kick-Off Day of this year’s program on May 8, 2019. That day, the group of students also celebrated a new addition to camp – three new flagpoles.
About a year ago, Chris Demianew, Outdoor School coordinator at Sunridge Middle School, began a project to replace the flagpoles. Working with ODS coordinator John Summerfield from Sunridge and IMESD coordinator Bob McMillan, they made a presentation to the Let’er Buck Post of the VFW, the Pendleton Kiwanis and the Sunridge Parents’ Club about potential funding and support. All three organizations donated funds toward the purchase of three new poles for installation in the meadow at Buck Creek.
Then McMillan worked closely with the U.S. Forest Service to get the proper permission to replace the pole. Installation occurred over the last three weekends of April. Members of the Pendleton Kiwanis Club volunteered on two separate occasions to lend their talents and labor to the project. Brian Christensen, manager of Pendleton Tum-a-Lum Lumber, generously donated concrete and building materials for the foundation of the poles.
Previously, there was just one short, dilapidated flagpole and now there are three brand new, stable ones. Rich Long, IMESD facilities, said three flags will be flown – American, state of Oregon and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The IMESD thanks all of the entities who contributed to the project.
“This has been a community-supported project by many groups who have long supported the Outdoor School program in Pendleton. This summer we will have a dedication of the poles with a picnic and ceremony,” said Demianew.
The new flagpoles are one of several projects that Sunridge Middle School ODS has been working on in preparation of the 50th consecutive session of the Pendleton Outdoor School Program, which occurs in spring 2021. Other projects include the addition of canoes at camp, additional teepees for lodging and program use, a campaign to develop new logos, signage and social media presence and possibly the creation of a booklet commemorating 50 years of Pendleton’s Outdoor School.