Rock Eagle

Rock Eagle


Mr. Boston will hold a Rock Eagle information meeting on Tuesday, January 17 at 6:00 p.m. The topics are packing and medicine as well as any general questions you may have about the trip.




What:           Rock Eagle Field Study

When:          March 6-10, 2017
Where:          Eatonton, Georgia

Cost:             $330
Rock Eagle is a field study unit which Big Ridge has been taking continuously since 1979 when the school opened.  Rock Eagle is an environmental education center.  Its purpose is to teach an appreciation, understanding, and awareness of the natural community while studying and interacting with the surrounding world.  Underlying the trip is the belief that learning is not limited to the classroom, learning is also found in the world around us.

This is a rigorous, academic field study.  Big Ridge takes the fifth grade teachers, Mrs.Turner, and five other Big Ridge teachers to assist with student supervision, journal writing, nightly group meetings, and to teach some of the social studies and science classes.  Rock Eagle also has excellent, highly qualified teachers who teach some of the classes.  A Big Ridge teacher is always with our students, twenty-four hours a day.  

Rock Eagle is about 45 minutes southeast of Atlanta, near Eatonton, Georgia.  It is a beautiful campus in a pine forest biome with its own private lake.  Rock Eagle is named after the prehistoric eagle which was constructed of rock.  There is a security guard on site 24 hours a day.  There is a clinic 7 miles from Rock Eagle which is open 24 hours a day.

Transportation to Rock Eagle will be provided by an insured, licensed commercial carrier approved by Hamilton County Department of Education for the type of trip.

Rock Eagle has cottages which accommodate 20 children.  Each cottage includes two large bedrooms with 5 sets of bunk beds in each, a large bathroom with several individual showers and toilets, a large living room, and a separate chaperone's room and bath.  Boys and girls are housed in separate cottages.  A teacher will stay in each cabin.

The cost of the trip is $330.  This cost includes bus fare, meals, lodging, Rock Eagle instructors, and a T-shirt for every student.  Do not send any additional money with your child.  They will not be near soda, candy or other vending machines and will not need additional money. You may begin sending in payments now.  Make checks out to Big Ridge Elementary.  You may also use this link to make online payments using the Online School Payment (OSP) portal: 
Several people can make payments (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.) using this website.

This year we are signed up for some fantastic classes: forest ecology, lake ecology, watershed studies (stream ecology), prehistoric cultures, Native American studies, cemetery studies, pioneer life, historical archeology, ecosystems, sensory awareness, challenge course, bats, canoeing and much more.  On the canoeing trip, the students will get a canoeing lesson from the Big Ridge teachers and will canoe a short distance into a wetland area to study the ecology of a swamp.  The students will be wearing approved life jackets at all times during the canoing experience.

All classes are held outdoors--rain or shine--but never during lightning, thunder or other severe weather situations.  We have a large building where we can meet if the weather doesn't cooperate.

It is our sincere hope that all students in fifth grade will be able to participate in this wonderful opportunity.  We have explained to all the fifth graders that we cannot take students with out of control school behavior.  To make this a safe trip we can only take children who demonstrate appropriate, compliant behavior at Big Ridge. 

You will receive additional information and forms to fill out in January.  I will have another meeting in January to discuss packing lists and medication concerns you might have.

These are excellent classes and will enrich your child with educational memories which will last a lifetime.  Many students say this is the best field study trip they have ever been on.  We hope this information helps you and your child plan for this wonderful educational experience.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me, Mrs.Turner, or any of the other fifth grade teachers.

Ronald Boston
and the fifth grade teachers
Big Ridge Elementary School



PLEASE PLACE YOUR CHILD'S INITIALS ON THE INSIDE TAGS OF ALL THEIR CLOTHES--ESPECIALLY UNDERWEAR AND SOCKS.  This helps your children avoid losing clothing.  Use a Sharpie pen to put their initials on shampoo bottles, disposable camera, etc.  This will really help us all keep everything organized.


2  pairs of closed-toe, good walking shoes.  (*one pair of old shoes is needed to wear in and around the lake...this can either be boots or old tennis shoes; one pair will stay dry)

*waterproof rubber boots (this is not mandatory, but is a useful item.  If boots are not brought…see old shoes above)


5 pairs  of jeans, wind pants or sweat pants.

7 clean shirts (one per day and the rest just in case)

1 winter jacket (it may get cold!)

3 sweatshirts or polar fleeces

rain coat or poncho (it rains sometimes!)

a warm hat or ski headband (can also have a ball cap or other hats, too)

warm gloves

8 pairs of socks

8 pair of underwear

pajamas or other sleep wear

sleeping bag or sheets for a twin size bed.  Pillow and blanket are provided.  BRING YOUR OWN PILLOW CASE.


towels and washcloth

toilet articles (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb/brush, hair dryer, hand lotion)


flip flops for showering

chapstick for lips and sunscreen (especially if your child is prone to sunburn)

plastic bag(s) for wet dirty clothes to come home in.

pencils and pens for journal writing time (we provide the journal)


camera (we recommend either a disposable camera or a digital camera.  Please don't send an expensive digital camera!)

water bottle (one that can be attached to belt would be nice)

******Please limit luggage to one suitcase or duffle bag and a backpack******

Children will have to carry their own belongings.  Avoid unnecessary items.


Candy, gum, iPods,iPads, iPhones, cell phones, radios, computers, CD players, electronic games or other such devices (not even for the bus ride).

Rock Eagle has asked us to leave all those items at home so that students can get the most out of this FIELD STUDY EXPERIENCE.

Cameras are fine as long as they are cameras and not cell phones.


When possible, send old clothes and shoes.  This is not the trip to pack white jeans and expensive designer wear.  Rock Eagle has a lot of red clay on the site, and children manage to get it on their clothes.  Remember that all classes take place in the outdoors.  


Make sure your child has a least a poncho for rain protection, and a warm jacket for those night classes outside.  If your child brings waterproof boots, then they just need one additional pair of shoes for dry activities.  We will always tell the children what shoes and clothing are needed for each class.  If your child doesn't bring rubber boots, then they must have another pair of old shoes which will get wet.  Think of it as needing a pair of DRY shoes (which must stay dry) and a pair of WET shoes (or boots) which will get wet in class.



Our goal at Rock Eagle is to keep your child safe and to make sure each child gets all of their regular medicine on schedule.

On the SECOND page of the PERMISSION FORM your child brought home is a line which asks what medicines your child takes.  Please make sure your child brings all their medicine(s) to the Rock Eagle Field Study.

All medicine will be packed in a large Zip Lock plastic bag in the original pharmacy/drugstore bottle and clearly labeled with a permanent marker on the outside of the bag.  On a paper inside the bag you will neatly write out (or type) the names of the medicines, dosage, and when each medicine is to be given.  Make this clear so your child’s medication can be given properly.

Parents can send PRN (or as needed) medications, too.  Typically a PRN medication is an over-the-counter medicine which would only be given according to your specifications.  If your child gets headaches frequently, and you give a certain medication on those occasions, please send that PRN headache medication.  Vitamins may be sent, but they must be included in the medicine bag in the original bottle for safe keeping.  On the paper mentioned above, write the name of the medicine and the circumstances in which you would like it to be given.  Please send the original medicine cup or correct spoon for administering liquid medicines.

Medicine is PACKED IN THE CHILD’S SUITCASE.  The FIRST thing the teachers do at Rock Eagle is collect the MEDICINE and lock it away in safely in the TEACHER’S room.

The teachers at Rock Eagle CANNOT give any medicine that you have not sent with out  your permission.  If a child has PRN medicine for those ‘just in case’  times, we will be sure the student gets it quickly.

ANY time your child becomes ILL at Rock Eagle we will call you.  The staff and teachers will keep your informed with a phone call.  This is why you will list your cell, work and home phone on the SECOND page of the PERMISSION FORM.    

Some parents may have special medical concerns regarding their child.  If your child has a medical concern which requires special monitoring, please let MR. BOSTON and NURSE JENNIFER VARNELL know so that the student’s medical plan can be addressed.  



Sample paper which would be included in the medicine bag:


Please give Sally the following medicines:

1 tablet (5 mg) of Singulair for her asthma before bedtime.

1 puff ( 250 mg) of her Advair inhaler before BREAKFAST and before SUPPER.

Give her ONE Flintstone vitamin before breakfast.


Sometimes Sally gets severe headaches.  Give Sally one Tylenol tablet.  Usually she will be fine after a few minutes.

Give Sally one spoon of PeptoBismol if she gets a stomach ache. (Be sure to include the original medicine cup for measuring correct dosages)


You can send your child mail at :

Big Ridge Group
Rock Eagle Environmental Center
350 Rock Eagle Road
Eatonton,  Georgia           31024

Be sure you send the mail three or four days in advance so the children can receive it while they are there.

Written by Mrs. Betty Heinemann, former Big Ridge Music Teacher

Rock Eagle

Rock Eagle is a place among the pine trees,
Rock Eagle is a feeling in your heart. 
Rock Eagle is a time we will remember,
Long after we depart.
Long after we depart.



Rock Eagle Field Study 2017 will be here soon.