Friday, April 5, 2013

Outdoor Education Trip

We just stepped outside of our bunk and boy was it cold!
My counselor Elle and I
Last week, I went to a sleep away camp with all of the fifth grade classes.  The camp was called Outdoor Ed, and we were able to learn about many different plants and animals.  The camp was part of the Santa Monica Mountain Range in Southern California.  During the five day trip, we saw many animals such as mule-deer, red tailed hawks, gopher snakes, cooper hawks, and many ground squirrels.  We were divided into different trail groups, and we had a naturalist names Lisa that explained to us about the plants and animals that we spotted.  We also had a counselor named Elle who was a senior in high school. Elle cared for us so much and even decorated my bunk room on my birthday. On the first day of the week, I dressed in shorts and a t-shirt with no sweater.  I literally froze that day because as soon as the wind picked up, the air temperature dropped.  I learned my lesson to always dress in layers! 

Resting at a creek after a long hike
One of my favorite days of the week was Tuesday when we did an all day, 7 hour hike.  We were the only group that saw a family of mule-deer. We also saw some gees and a beautiful landscape.   While on the hike, we crosses a creek with fish swimming in the water.  I missed a step on one of the rocks in the creek and fell right in.  I had to suffer the rest of the hike in cold wet socks and shoes.  Although, that was a pretty bad misfortune, I still had a good time.  At the end, we went to a rock pool to journal about the day.  Walking back, everyone was pretty tired, and we sang some songs to make the time pass by   It was a tiring but beautiful day. 
Mule deer

Building a shelter. I am glad it didn't rain!
We also had a Chumash lesson where we made necklaces out of abalone shells, tried to make fire, saw different animal furs, and saw a live gopher snake.  I was very surprised about how hard it is to start a fire by spinning the stick. We all tried and tried as a group, but we only got a little bit of smoke.  We saw animal furs from coyote, skunk, rabbit and dear. All of these animals died in nature.  The coyote skull was also pretty incredible. I thought the best part of the whole Chumash lesson was  building shelter.  Imagine being stuck in the mountains with nothing but tress, sticks, ants, string, and rags. We had to learn to build a small night shelter with what was available to us.  I was in charge of gathering the sticks because everyone else was scared of ants. How would you have made the shelter?

So soft! (Racoon)

Smelly Skunk (the skin is actually very soft and does NOT smell)

Have you seen any of these animals?

Have you ever gone to sleep away camp? 
How was it?


  1. Dear Miriam,
    It's nice that your school organized this trip and you learned many new thing about the nature.
    I never seen this animals alive and do not think it's fun to come close to a skunk, but it's fun to feel the softness of the fur. You have made very nice pictures. I hope you would continue to appreciate nature and enjoy hiking trips.
    Love you,
    Grandma Tanya and Grandpa Eugene

    1. Dear Grandma Tanya and Grandpa Eugene,

      Thank you for leaving me a comment. The fur was so soft! You should come and go on some of the hikes there because they are pretty amazing.


  2. Dear Miriam ,
    You spend a wonderful time and it*s the first time you were not at home on your birthday.
    We are glad you have so many friends. Wonderful pictures you*ve taught yourself and you teach us.
    Thank you. Love grands Mila & Isay

  3. Dear Miriam,

    Your post is amazing. Your trip looked very fun!!
    I reconize some of the animals.
    I loved the fort that you built. Nice Job!!!!
    I would love if you would visit my blog.
    MAssachusetts , USA

    1. Dear Ari,

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. I did have a fabulous time at the camp. Do you like to hike? I will also definitely check out your blog.

      Your friend,

  4. @ Miriam,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post about Outdoor Education. You certainly made the most of it! I liked your attitude when you ended up in the creek. You still had a good time! Good for you!

    I used to teach Outdoor Education when I was a fifth grade teacher. However, we did not go to the same place. We camped at a place called Cottontail Ranch.

    Once of my favorite parts of the trip was the all day hike! I so enjoy being out in nature and seeing wild life. Good shots of the mule deer!

    Did you go to Tapia Park or to the estuary and the ocean?

    Your outdoor-loving friend and former teacher,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  5. Dear Miriam,
    I adored how you kept a optimistic attitude and a brave charisma. I always enjoy reading your blog posts. You include thorough detail and inspiring feelings. The way that you described the camp made me want to visit it. i hopoe you had a blast of fun.
    Sincerely, Emily


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