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There's gold in these hills!

Franklin Elementary got the chance to explore Columbia State Park on their way up to Sierra Outdoor School for Gold Rush Program. They toured the town, including the Dry Diggins and Main Street. Then they took a tour of the Columbia Cemetery! Here is a picture of Group A learning about Hugh Gillis from one of SOS's Naturalists, Andrew. Gillis' grave is the oldest in the cemetery. His grave was initially established in Columbia's first cemetery in 1852, but when the miners realized that the site was a perfect mining area, they decided to move the town cemetery to its current location in 1855. Gillis' grave was one of those actually moved, such that his coffin and headstone were transported to their new location, where they have been for one-hundred and fifty-eight years.

Franklin has a great line-up of classes for tomorrow, including: Gold Mining, Life of a Miner, Hike to the Tuolumne Ditch, and Miwok Life. Then, after dinner they will craft their own arrowheads and turn up the energy with a good ol' fashioned Hoe-down. Check back for more pictures of their adventures!

Oraze Elementary also arrived today after a fun tour of Big Trees State Park. Tonight, the students learned about adaptations in terms of a very special nocturnal animal, the owl, and got the chance to dissect an owl pellet! They found and identified bones to help determine which animals their owl had actually eaten. Make sure to ask your student about it when they get home. After owl pellets, the Oraze students headed over to the gym for a little bit of friendly competition in Mountain Madness, a series of organized, high-energy relay races.

We hope that everyone at home is enjoying the beautiful weather as much as we are - highs in the 70s tomorrow! It'll be a perfect day for Franklin's Gold Rush Program and Oraze's High Ropes, Silent Mile, and Raptors & Conservation classes.


  1. Good picture, thanks! Go Franklin. (≧∇≦)


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