Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2013


The New Republic students were very excited for gold panning! During their People of the Sierra class, they learned about pre-Gold Rush Miwok culture as well as the effect that the Gold Rush had on both the environment and the native peoples of California. We studied the Miwok through examining artifacts, learning about native plants and animals, and visiting replicas of traditional Miwok structures in Sierra Outdoor School's Miwok Village. There, the students learned about and explored a chukka (acorn storage), umacha (traditional Miwok home), and shapuya (sweat lodge for hunters). Moving forward through time, the students then dove more in-depth into the many facets of the California Gold Rush. At our new gold panning troughs, New Republic students got a feel for what life was like as a miner. They had the opportunity to pan for gold after being given a thorough explanation of how to do so, as well as how to tell the difference between gold and pyrite (Fool's Gold). Here…

New Republic at Columbia

New Republic arrived this afternoon to a beautiful sunny day in Columbia State Park. They started their day off with a tour of the town, learning about Columbia's rich history and exploring both the Dry Diggins and Main Street. Afterwards, when they heard that their beloved Candy Kitchen was "on fire," they sprang into action to put that fire out! The students formed a Bucket Brigade, an exercise in historic fire suppression, in a head-to-head competition between Team 1 and Team 2. In the first round, Team 2 proved victorious. Luckily, Team 1 had a second chance in round two! They took full advantage of that opportunity, coming out ahead by a nose. Great job, New Republic! The students then had a bit of free time to wander around Columbia and shop. Of course, they flocked to the building that they "saved" from the fire, Nelson's Candy Kitchen, among others. Afterwards, they headed up the hill to Sierra Outdoor School and moved in to their new dorms for the …

Let's Talk About Trees!

After visiting Columbia State Park and Mercer Caverns on the way up, Clay Elementary arrived at Sierra Outdoor School Tuesday afternoon. They started off their first day at SOS with "Talk About Trees," a one-hour class dedicated to discussion on the uses of trees, tree classification, and tree physiology. This class includes hands-on activities, as you can see in the picture below. The students are portraying the different parts of trees, including the heartwood, xylem, phloem, cambium, and bark (not pictured). Linscott also had a Talk About Trees class later Tuesday evening after enjoying the Stories in Stone presentation on their way up to SOS.

During Talk About Trees, the students get their own tree cookies which they personalize with their name on one side and their creative nature name on the other. They also learn a fun "rap," which goes like this:

Let's Talk About Trees.
Let's Talk About Trees.
Let's talk about why we need trees.
How do we use the…

Back from Break

Welcome back everyone! We hope that you all had a wonderful break. Our staff is back and looking forward to welcoming two schools tomorrow: Clay Elementary and Linscott Charter School. It's a bit chilly up here so pack your jackets! We're anticipating some rain, and potentially snow, on Wednesday leading into Thursday. It's going to be a great week and we're excited to get it started. See you tomorrow!