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Showing posts from May, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

We hope that everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend and enjoyed the extra day. We're looking forward to this week at Sierra Outdoor School with two schools coming up for the Gold Rush Program and two for the Elementary Program. We're excited to have our very first fourth-graders coming up from Clovis Unified School District for our Gold Rush Program. We'll see you soon, Century! Check back for some more pictures today of Century doing their Gold Rush rotation and of Grimmer Elementary enjoying their first afternoon classes.

Here's a quote to get those gears turning on a Tuesday morning:

"Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education."  - David Polis, Environmentalist and Outdoor Educator

Campfire Skits and Updates

We've had quite the busy week at Sierra Outdoor School. At the start of the week, we worked with Whitehead, Freeman, and Mission Ave. On Wednesday, we said goodbye to those wonderful students and said hello to three new groups! On Wednesday, we welcomed LeConte, Seacrest, and Brandeis Hillel to SOS. Yesterday, half of LeConte challenged themselves and cheered on others at our climbing wall, while the other half studied Pond Life. Brandeis Hillel did High Ropes and Team Challenge, and Seacrest had a great time with our Gold Program.

We'll have some pictures up later of our new groups, so make sure to check back. But before that, take a look at this video. The second graders of Mission Avenue did an amazing job at the campfire, thoroughly entertaining us with their well-prepared skits. Here's one called "Is It Time Yet?" If you're interested in seeing more skits, you can either post a comment or email the blog at and I can post/sen…

Mother Earth is Rocking

During Yountville's Earth & Beyond class today, they had fun singing a spin off of Queen's "We Will Rock You," entitled "Mother Earth is Rocking."

Take a look at Yountville's fifth graders singing! If you're following along with the lyrics (posted below), they're on the third verse.

Here are the lyrics:

Chorus: Mother Earth is Rocking               Mother Earth is Rocking
Magma rises in the crust, Turns to a rock called igneous. Cools down slow, cools down fast. To crystallize or look like glass. -----Chorus----- Sedimentary rock, the layered look. Time and force is what it took. To make a rock from sediment. Water squeezed out to make mineral cement. -----Chorus-----
Even rocks may feel pain, When heat and pressure make ‘em change their name. Limestone to marble, shale to slate. Metamorphic rocks have come a long way. -----Chorus-----
Water, soil, air and rock. Gotta keep recycling what we’ve got. Sun’s gonna be ‘round long enough. Let’s wo…

Evening Programs

Last night, the schools had some very fun, entertaining, and educational evening programs. Mount Madonna enjoyed a Hillbilly Hop and Night Hike. Foster City had a great night with Owl Pellets and Campfire. Here's a picture of the kids dissecting an owl pellet. They were really getting into it! 

And finally, Verdi Elementary enjoyed a hilarious Campfire and then headed out onto their Night Hikes! In this picture, you can see the students really getting into the Furniture Store skit. Be sure to ask them about that! 

We've had such a fun week with all of our schools this week, and it's not over yet. We've got Wilderness Skills with Foster City this morning, and a few Team Initiatives with Verdi as well. After that, we are saying adieu to all of our new friends. Have a great weekend everyone!

Photo Update

We're having a great time with the two schools that are currently here: Mount Madonna School from Watsonville, CA and Verdi Elementary School from Verdi, NV. Here's a couple pictures from each school's day. Enjoy!

Verdi had a great time during Earth & Beyond this afternoon. Check them out in their matching shirts... looking good Verdi!

Right behind them, you can see the "Walk of the Planets" they did. The girl right in front is holding Pluto. How many planets can you see behind them?

Here's a couple shots of Mount Madonna during Mountain Madness. It truly was a madhouse in there! They had an amazing time, full of hilarious relay races, including the Firefighter Relay! The students really went all out with the fire jacket, fire pants, and fire helmet. The kids in line are earning some serious respect points with their cheering and dance points with their sweet moves. Make sure to ask your student about the Shoe Relay when they get home... I'm sure they…

Teamwork All Around

Happy Monday! We had fifth graders from Mark Twain Elementary School come up from Angels Camp today for a field trip. They worked on team building initiatives and enjoyed a day in the forest. Here's a picture of half of the students at the Spider Web, one of the low elements we use for Team Challenge class. Everyone is in excellent position for spotting the student as he goes through the rope spider web. 

We're also working on several improvements to our site, including a new teaching spot right behind the dormitories. Several staff members were hard at work all day today preparing the site and the logs. Check back later to see more pictures of the progress.

Thank you to Anonymous for answering the question I posed in Moon Musings! You are indeed correct, the moon was waning gibbous. Great job.