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OCAY League hosts first Oregon Trail-themed event of season at Selkirk Shores State Park

OCAY League hosts first Oregon Trail-themed event of season at Selkirk Shores State Park

Students from eight local school districts recently competed in the Oswego County Academic Youth League’s first competition of the school year at Selkirk Shores State Park in Pulaski.

Participants learned about the Oregon Trail and were tasked with various survivalist and naturalist tasks including fungi identification, building a fire large enough to burn through a suspended piece of string, constructing a travois sturdy enough to carry a person and carrying water to a designated location in the park as a team.

Donning color-coded bandanas to represent their home districts, students raced against time – and up and down foliage-ridden pathways – to various pavilion “camp sites,” while other tasks were judged on level of completion and quality.

Students also participated in logic puzzles and other activities during their down time in an attempt to solve for a “mystery number” that would unlock a padlocked door to the final destination pavilion where food, drinks, and awards were distributed.

Placing first in the first OCAY League event of the 2022-23 season was the team from Mexico Academy and Central School District, followed by Hannibal in second place and APW in third.

The first-place team from Mexico was comprised of students Daniel Gagnier, Hunter Hall, Collin Hatch, Ryan Jackson, Sage LaFlamm, Avery Mack, Sean McWilliams and William Mills.

OCAY League was organized in the spring of 1997 with the idea that academics merit a standing comparable to athletics. Students’ academic skills are challenged and showcased in a wide variety of competitive events that emphasize scholastic excellence, team building, leadership and creativity. A particular strength of the league is its emphasis on cooperative problem-solving. Teams are made up of eight to ten members and compete in several events throughout the school year.

OCAY League is coordinated through the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation’s gifted and talented program. For more information, contact OCAY League Coordinator Caitlin White.