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Showing posts from 2012

Visiting the Columbia Schoolhouse

When Serendipity arrived at the Columbia Schoolhouse, they were taken back in time to March 26, 1861. They were met by Mr. Graham, the first principal of the first brick schoolhouse in the state of California. Each student is sitting properly, with their hands flat on the desk, their feet flat on the floor, and their backs straight and away from the backrest. Mr. Graham is performing the daily "inspection," in order to assess each student's cleanliness under their fingernails and behind their ears. After a few days at Sierra Outdoor School, I wonder if they passed! 

A visit to the schoolhouse was a great way to end their Gold Rush Program. We hope you had a great time. We'll see you next year, Serendipity!


Team Challenge

During their Team Challenge class, Serendipity faced several obstacles that mimicked those that pioneers would have faced on their journey to the Gold Rush. The activities they completed challenged them to enhance their communication skills, work together, and prepare for the journey ahead. As pioneers, they were communicating with Native Americans for the first time, working to blaze a new trail, and preparing for traveling on foot after an irreparable wagon breakdown.

Here is a picture of them blazing a new trail with effective teamwork. Good work, Serendipity!


Serendipity's Snowy Arrival

Serendipity arrived to Sierra Outdoor School this afternoon and was met with a bit of snowfall. SOS is looking like a winter wonderland for these lucky students! 

They're currently working on team building in our Team Challenge class. More pictures to come!

Welcome Back, Serendipity

We're excited to welcome back Serendipity Elementary to Sierra Outdoor School for our Gold Rush program. Through the California Gold Rush Experience, we offer an opportunity for students to take a closer look at the cultural history of the area. Beginning with a visit to Columbia State Park, students immerse themselves into the life of a miner, using our gold pit to practice various mining techniques and getting to pan for gold in our gold troughs. Traveling further back, students will learn about the life of the MiWok Indians, the indigenous people of the region, through cultural artifacts and our replicated MiWok Village. Here is a picture of the village, in which you can see the umacha, the MiWok living space, and the chukka, used for acorn storage. Serendipity, we're looking forward to having you back! Safe travels up the hill.



Copper Hills at SOS

Copper Hills had a rainy start to their time here, but enjoyed a beautiful, sunny Fall day yesterday! Their three day classes were: Silent Mile, High Ropes, and Raptors & Conservation. They had a great time on Silent Mile, learning about the ecology cycle, silently walking alongside the Ditch, and, of course, surviving Heart Attack Hill! Here's a picture of Group B after they made it up the hill:

Copper Hills also did an incredible job on our High Ropes course. They set each set a personal goal and gave 110% in trying to achieve it. Each group worked hard to cheer on their classmates as they climbed! Here's a couple pictures of Group A during their class:

Copper Hills, we had a great time with you here at Sierra Outdoor School! Have a safe drive down the hill and a great time at Columbia State Park.

Reagan Elementary at SOS

We've had a great start to the week with Reagan Elementary! They learned about survival tactics in Wilderness Skills, met some of our educational birds in Raptors & Conservation, and conquered their fears on our High Ropes course.

During night classes, Reagan students got the opportunity to learn about the Me-Wuk Indians and make their own arrowheads. They energetically competed in relay races during Mountain Madness and learned some fun dances during Hillbilly Hop (parents, ask them to show you the Kitchen Dance). The students will have a great time visiting Columbia State Park on their way home tomorrow! 
Copper Hills, we'll see you tomorrow morning! Have a safe drive up the hill.

SOS Staff 2012-2013

This week we had a little time on Monday and Tuesday for staff training. We had an in-service on chaining up vans and other vehicles - preparing for the winter! We also took our staff photo in our new North Face Sierra Outdoor School jackets. Thank you, Clovis!


We had a great, albeit rainy, week with Miramonte and Maple Creek. And of course, we're looking forward to Reagan Elementary and Copper Hills Elementary next week. Reagan, we'll see you on Monday, Copper Hills on Wednesday! Safe travels to all. Have a great weekend!

Back to School

Welcome back from Thanksgiving break! We hope everyone had a great time with their friends and family. We're excited to be back and looking forward to our two schools arriving on Wednesday, Miramonte Elementary and Maple Creek Elementary School. Make sure to bring your rain gear! The forecast is predicting rain for the latter part of the week.

Many of us enjoyed a festive turkey dinner this past week, so here are a few fun facts about turkeys to start off our week.
Wild turkeys see in color and have excellent daytime vision that is three times better than a human's eyesight. Their field of vision covers 270 degrees! A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.So close, but yet so far... Benjamin Franklin advocated for a turkey to be the national bird, not the bald eagle! Learn more about this interesting historical fact here.

Let it snow!

Sierra Outdoor School had its first snow of the season this week! Bud Rank Elementary and Caruthers Elementary were enjoying the winter wonderland as they challenged themselves on the high ropes course, learned about orienteering and shelter building in Wilderness Skills, and enjoyed a Silent Mile along the ditch, among many other activities. Here's a picture from the blacktop:


Our staff is also enjoying the weather! One of our Naturalist Interns was so excited she made a snow star in front of Juniper Dorm. 

We're looking forward to welcoming  El Rancho School, Fancher Creek, and Temperance Kutner to SOS next week! Have a great weekend, everybody.

Welcome to our new blog!

Sierra Outdoor School is finally joining the blogosphere! We'll be posting updates about schools while they're here, so visit our blog to see pictures of your students living and learning in the great outdoors. Check us out for up-to-date weather before you come to SOS. The arrival of November has brought crisp fall weather, so bring your hats and mittens! We've had several gorgeous evenings up on Big Hill...check out the beautiful sunset over our blacktop.

We're excited to welcome four schools to SOS next week: Fugman and Riverview on Monday, and Caruthers and Bud Rank on Wednesday. Safe travels up the hill and we'll see you soon!