Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - October 10 - 14, 2006

Sticks - October 13, 2006
On October 10th, the eighth grade Adventure Education class headed to the Washington coast for a five-day hike. The group walked from Rialto Beach to the northern shore of Lake Ozette. The hike covered a total of twenty-five miles. Students carried on their backs all that they would need for the journey. For most of the students, this was the first backpacking trip they had been on. This coming-of-age activity challenged students both physically and mentally. Each day, students walked for approximately five hours on rugged terrain. While hiking, frequent stops were made. During their breaks, students discovered ancient Makah petroglyphs, bear tracks and whale bones. Each evening was spent around a roaring campfire where the cares of the day were melted away by the heat of the flame and lively conversation. Students' comments follow:

This was a memorable experience, one that I will never forget. I am going back out on day trips for sure, but I would love to do a five-day hike again.

This was a great experience because I had never done anything like this before in my life. I believe we are going on another trip later this semester. I can't wait to see where we will be going.
The trip was an experience that I will never want to forget. It has taught me a life skill in how to survive with only the basic stuff.
This trip was a lot of fun, yet it was very, very hard at the same time. I can't wait for the next trip we go on.
Climbing down a huge cliff happened on the second day of the trip. We had to wait in line to make this 500 foot drop. When it was my turn I was deathly afraid and had a lot of time to think about how high it was. I conquered my fears...
When going to the Pacific Coast remember this: Bring yer pocket knife, put it in yer pocket and beware of dem 'coons...
To the future Adventure Ed class: This hike changed me to be more willing to do more things and accomplish new tasks...
At the last camp before the long excruciating board walk, we took about an hour to dig up whale bones. Several kids discovered a huge bone buried in the dirt. As the kids were digging it up it looked as if it was a whale skull. Mr. B was convinced it was. For the next thirty minutes, while the kids were digging it up, all I could hear was Mr. B saying “Whale skull!” At one point he said that the skull would solve all of the school's financial problems...
Most of all I really liked the view at around 7:00, just when the sun was setting and all the pretty colors...
For me, this was my first camping trip ever in my life, and I enjoyed every second of it...
Although the campsite on the second day was my favorite, I don't think I could say the same about the water: Dark brown, filled with particles of some strange substance and teeming with didn't look the least bit appetizing. Even after we used the water filter it still retained a weird brown tint. I thought for sure Blake was going to get sick when he “Soldiered Up” and drank it straight out of the pond...
A special thanks to Charlie Snelling, Lars Bergquist, Steve Scoles and Amanda Moser. Your excellent leadership made this this trip a success.

Nels Bergquist

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stove Practice - October 4, 2006

Adventure Education students practiced using their stoves today. Solid fuel tablets were used to boil water. Every group was successful. Many picked fresh nettles and made a hot, soothing tea. A portion of the tea was bottled for later consumption at lunch.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fishing Friday - September 29, 2006

The Adventure Ed class fished at Langley Marina today. Many lines were tangled. Four small salmon were caught and released. Congratulations to Katie, Courtney and Evan for their big catches.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mount Pilchuck Hike - September 22, 2006

The 8th grade Adventure Education class climbed Mount Pilchuck today. The hike was six strenuous miles round-trip. All hikers gained 2,200 feet in elevation. Students walked for approximately five hours. All students made it to the summit and back to the bus. Each wrote a five paragraph reflection paper in class. Students' comments follow:

I would have to say that rock climbing at the peak was an experience that will go down in my hall of fame.

In the way of outdoor activities, this is a great one. You should definetly try it sometime. If you have, do it again. I know I will...

If you ever get a chance to go to this beautiful mountain you only need three things: A lot of food and water, don't take shortcuts and bring good friends to share the great experience with.

Getting to Mt. Pilchuck: $7
Buying the water bottles: $10
The Lunchable eaten at the top: $3.65
Seeing the pictures you get: Priceless

For everything else, there's Mastercard...

I didn't want to come out of the fire tower because I was really scared of heights. My friend Courtney was scared too, but we both went outside together.

My favorite part of this hike was when we got to the top and my friends and I were jumping around like ninjas. This activity trains your heart, body and soul.

It may have been hard, but it was amazing. Pilchuck has been conquered.

I'm sure that everybody in this class went home with something they learned about this hike that will always be with them and will hopefully draw them back for more.

I would love to do it again on my spare time. Just remember, if you don't like heights then this hike might not be good for you.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tent Practice - September 15, 2006

Today the 8th grade Adventure Ed class practiced setting up the classroom set of two-person tents. The focus of the day was proper tent tension. A saggy tent means a wet camper. These skills will help students stay dry on the upcoming Washington coast hike planned for early October.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - June 18, 2006

Adventure Education students woke at approximately 7:30 AM this morning. Visions of McDonald’s had been dancing through their heads while they slept. The camp was broken for the final time and the group hit the eastbound trail at 8:20 AM.

The three-mile boardwalk trail through the Olympic rainforest was an outstanding way to end the trip. Old growth trees and open meadows were enjoyed along the way. Students hiked at a rapid pace and arrived at Ozette campground at 9:45 AM.

At the campground, the group used the bathroom facilities, washed out bear canisters and kept vigilant watch for the South Whidbey School District bus.

At 11:00 AM the bus arrived. The group hopped on and bus headed south toward Rialto Beach.

The bus pulled into Rialto at about 12:30 PM. The southbound group was met with smiling faces. Everyone boarded the bus and the united group headed northeast, bound for Port Angeles.

In Port Angeles, bear canisters were deposited at park headquarters. Five minutes later, the bus took a turn into the local McDonald’s. The dreamlike spell of the coast was broken by the beep of the registers and the oft-repeated question “Welcome to McDonald’s. Can I take your order?”

The bus rolled out of Port Angeles and arrived just in time to catch the 4:30 PM Port Townsend ferry. Adventure Ed students met parents waiting with open arms at 5:30 PM in the Langley Middle School parking lot.
A heartfelt thanks to the stalwart group of chaperones: Charlie Snelling, Scott Daley, Steve Scoles, Brian Miller, Patsy Brereton and Bruce Brereton. Your strength is unparalleled.

Nels Bergquist

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - June 17, 2006

Seventh grade Adventure Education students woke up at 7:30 AM. The group ate and broke camp. Students experienced a light drizzle as they started working their way toward Cape Alava at 9:15 AM.

The group encountered a tricky headland at the northernmost point of Yellow Banks. This headland was impassible the afternoon before due to the height of the tide. This time, the tide was low and the group was able to access the rocky route around this large obstacle. Students moved slowly on the slippery rocks and passed through two tunnels before immerging on the beach north of Yellow Banks.

The group enjoyed an easy, two-mile walk to Sand Point. After arriving, an enormous rock was spotted off the end of the point. Students and chaperones scrambled up the trail to the top. The view was amazing. All group members pulled out snacks and enjoyed resting while admiring the captivating surroundings. Cell phone service was found to be quite good and those that wanted to called home. Shortly after the calls were completed, the group headed down the trail and up the beach toward Cape Alava.

The three-mile trek to Cape Alava was fairly smooth. Several breaks were taken along the way.

After reaching the cape, a beautiful, grassy, sunlit site was found. Students set up their tents, hung sleeping bags and other damp items in the surrounding trees and prepared to scout out the area.

Several groups walked north up the beach in search of old native sites. On the way, the Makah-Ozette ranger station was discovered. The station had not been in service for some time. Further north, an open, shed-like structure was found. Upon entering, chaperones and students alike were amazed. The structure had at its center a Makah Nation memorial plaque. The plaque indicated that this sacred place was made to honor the proud people of the Makah Nation. The small structure was filled with whale, bear and shark bones as well as interesting stones, a mask and fishing nets. After spending time pondering this interesting place, the group walked north up the beach.

Mr. Scoles was found further up the beach. He pointed out a shell and bone midden where the Makah people once lived. Over the course of the day, each Adventure Education student had a chance to sift through a small portion of a side hill where ancient human debris could be unearthed. Different types of bones, including that of the whale were easily found. Also common were blackened, cracked firestones. Several students kept small whalebones as souvenirs. After exploring these ancient human leavings, the group headed back to the campsite.

At the campsite, things were getting interesting. A pesky raccoon was bold enough to walk into camp and start searching through backpacks. Several items were stolen. A number of students decided to have “coon” for dinner. Rocks were sharpened and bound to the ends of sticks. Coal was taken out of the dead fire pit and applied to faces. Food was laid out in strategic areas in an attempt to bait the thief. Patience was exercised in the tall grasses. Keen eyes swept the area, fingers ran along freshly sharpened spear points and sweat flowed freely in anticipation of the kill.

Although several spears flew, the raccoon was wise to the efforts of the proud Adventure Education hunters. Not a piece of fur was misplaced when the day drew to a close. Students laid down their weapons at approximately 9:30 PM. Words were spoken in hushed voices about the possibility of a late night hunt, but sleep eventually conquered all.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - June 16, 2006

Seventh grade Adventure Education students woke up at 8:00 AM to a light rain. Students scrambled out of their tents and prepared breakfast.

After breakfast Mr. Scoles and Mr. Bergquist took two students to the lookout spot. This time, cell phone coverage was good. The school was called and messages were left at home. After a short stay, the group returned to camp.

Camp was broken and the hikers left Cedar Creek at approximately 11:00 AM bound for Yellow Banks. Mr. Daley accepted the honor of throwing the message-in-a-bottle into the sea. All looked on as the bottle cleared the exposed rocks and splashed into the surf.

The group hiked north to Norwegian Memorial. This memorial marked the spot where Norwegian sailors were buried after their ship sunk off the coast. Mr. Scoles successfully contacted Mr. Snelling’s southbound group from Norwegian Memorial. They had gotten an early start and were working their way over rocky coastline twenty minutes north of where our group stood. Students shouldered their packs in anticipation of meeting the southbound group who had not seen, or heard from, in several days.

The northbound group met the southbound group approximately ten minutes after leaving Norwegian Memorial. Students grouped together and immediately started telling stories and asking questions. Chaperones and teachers chatted about what was ahead among other things. The group meeting lasted approximately thirty minutes and helped boost moral for the difficult hiking day ahead.

The northbound group said their goodbyes and continued up the beach. Hiking was slow for several hours because of the extremely rocky coastline. Breaks were taken at regular intervals.

Yellow Banks was reached at approximately 4:00 PM. The tide was too high to cross the headland leading to South Sand Point. There was no easy overland path. Small groups split off in different directions to explore the area.

Mr. Bergquist and several students found a group site located on a bank high above the beach. This site was difficult to gain access to because the climb was steep. It was determined that ropes were necessary if the site was to be used that night. Students found a wide variety of ropes littering the beach. London and Lainey spent thirty minutes untangling several long ropes. These ropes were tied to trees, which allowed the majority of the group to gain access to the top unencumbered by backpacks. After climbing to the top, Mr. Scoles walked through the site and found a rough path leading down the backside that was much more accessible. This new trail had not been heavily used and was very difficult to see from the beach. This path was used in transporting supplies to the site.

At approximately 6:30 PM students carried their backpacks to the group site. The ground was littered with sticks and debris. Students and chaperones cleared the ground by throwing large branches into the woods and sweeping small debris with their feet. Tents were set up and dinners were made. A stream, emptying onto the beach, was used to clean dishes and fill water bottles.

At 9:00 PM, students climbed in their tents. The group worked on journals and talked before going to sleep.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - June 15, 2006

Seventh grade Adventure Education students woke at 7:00 AM. The entire group ate breakfast, brushed teeth, filled water bottles in a nearby stream, used the pit toilet, broke camp and cleaned up the area. In the midst of these efforts, students spotted a deer sampling some of the nearby salmonberry leaves. Also, a raccoon was spotted walking around on the beach searching for food.

Students began hiking toward Cedar Creek at 10:00 AM. A dead, putrid sea lion was encountered while rounding Johnson Point. The smell of the beast resulted in a quick retreat from the carcass. Hiking around Johnson Point was slow going because of its rocky nature.

The group finally broke onto a sandy beach just north of Johnson Point. The hikers stopped at a large waterfall and filled empty bottles. Several students attempted to dam the stream while others climbed up the banks of the falls. The group continued on after approximately twenty minutes.

Further north, the students encountered their first overland route. This marked route allowed for safe travel over the headland when the tide was too high to hike around it. Each group member scrambled to the top and slowly inched their way down the other side. A flat, sandy beach existed beyond the overland route. Mr. Scoles found a large cork and started a short soccer/keep away game on the beach. Several students joined in.

After several more miles, the Adventure Education group reached Cedar Creek. To the group’s surprise, no one was camping in the area. Students quickly set up their tents and hung wet clothes on branches to dry. Several students gathered firewood and started a fire. After this work was done, students took a dip in Cedar Creek. Later in the evening, a rope swing, located on the hill above the campsite, was used extensively.

Students discovered a dead pelican while exploring the beach north of camp. This find triggered a shift away from the tranquil, beachcombing mood to one prehistoric in nature. The pelican head was attached to the end of a stick and held aloft. A low chanting sound seemed to rise over the crash of the waves. Curiosity cut the ceremony short, as there was surely other finds on the beach. It should be noted that, later in the evening, the sand in the area of the chanting was inspected. Although we did not have a certified anthropologist in the group, the prints seemed to follow a distinct circular pattern around the spot where the head of the deceased pelican rose, for the last time, in triumph above the waves.

Approximately fifty yards north of the campsite, a cable ladder was found leading up a steep bank to a trail above. The area was clearly marked with the distinctive overland route sign. Adults explored this route and then invited students up. The trail forked at the top. One route led downhill to the northern beach. The other led up to, arguably, the most spectacular lookout spot on the entire coast. One by one, students were taken up to this perch above the waves. Each member of the northbound group had a chance to experience this amazing lookout.

Heading back to the campsite, Mr. Bergquist found an empty whisky bottle. It was decided that the group would send it out to sea with a message. Lainey wrote a brief introduction to the finder asking for a response if found. She included Langley Middle School’s postal address. After that, the paper was passed from person to person. Students took turns writing several sentences to the finder of the bottle. All group members contributed to the writing. After finishing, the bottle was set aside for a morning ceremonial toss.

Students climbed into their tents at 9:00 PM. Each worked on journals and went to sleep.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - June 13 - 14, 2006

Trailhead - June 13, 2006
Seventh grade Adventure Ed students arrived at the Langley Middle School at 8:00 PM Tuesday evening. Students enjoyed a game of basketball in the gym before heading to the library. Students made beds for themselves on the couches and floor of the library and computer annex.

Students woke up at 5:30 AM Wednesday morning, ate a hurried breakfast, packed their bags, cleaned the library and headed out to the district bus. The bus left Langley Middle School at 6:20 AM bound for the Keystone ferry. The group arrived in time to catch the 7:15 AM Keystone ferry to Port Townsend. From there, the group headed directly to Port Angeles.
In Port Angeles, the bus stopped at Olympic National Park headquarters. Overnight wilderness permits were purchased and students chose a bear canister to put their food in for the trip. The ranger told the group that raccoons had been a real nuisance at many of the campsites we were scheduled to stay at. The bear canisters would help thwart their thieving efforts. A stop at Safeway was made before heading to Rialto Beach on the Washington coast.

At Rialto Beach, the first Adventure Ed group packed food into their bear canisters, split the two-person tents, dawned their packs and headed north up the beach. The second group drove on to Ozette campground and started their hike down the coast.
Seal Found
Thirty minutes into the hike, students found a dead harbor seal. Several eagles were spotted in the surrounding trees. Each was awaiting a turn at the seal. After taking several pictures, students proceeded up the beach to Hole-in-the-Wall. The tide was low enough for the entire group to walk through the hole.

Throughout the hike, students witnessed pounding surf, rugged islands and numerous rock formations on the coast. The weather was overcast but the rain held.

Students hiked to Chilean Memorial, a spot that was marked with a plaque indicating the spot where a ship had foundered. The group picked a flat spot on the beach, set up their tents and started a campfire. Students filled their water bottles in a nearby stream. Later in the evening, the group sat around the campfire, prepared their dinners and dried wet garments.
Sea Stacks on Rialto Beach - June 13, 2006
After dinner, students explored the surrounding area. Many ventured up the beach in search of tide pools. Several students brought back mussels. These were boiled and eaten. Many students were drawn to this hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the early stages of the coast hike. Some did not relinquish this way of living until they boarded the district bus and headed back to civilization.

At approximately 9:00 PM, rain began to fall. Students picked up their belongings, hid bear canisters in various spots outside camp and crawled into their tents. Once inside, students wrote in their journals, played cards and socialized before falling asleep.
Writing Journals at Camp - Chilean Memorial - June 13, 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Adventure Ed Funding Request - May 30, 2006

To Persons of Interest:

During the past school year, 2005-06, the role of Adventure Education at Langley Middle School has been greatly elevated. Due to a good vision of the director of the program, Adventure Education has enabled students to go far beyond programs of the past. Students participated in trips to Glacier National Park, Los Padres National Forest, and the Washington Coastal Trail Hike. The enthusiasm generated in students by this program has been phenomenal. Even knowing of the rigorous academic preparation for these trips students still flock to become part of the class. The director of the program is constantly being addressed with the hope that it will encompass even more far reaching goals. The teachers involved with Adventure Education are dedicated to making this program a model for all schools seeking such a class offering. Additional means of funding are required to allow the program’s expansion. I fully support any help offered by outside sources to enhance this program. Adventure Education at LMS is truly an inspiring part of the total educational process. If I can be of any further help please don’t hesitate to ask.


Darrell Posch
Langley Middle School

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tent Practice - May 11, 2006

Today, Adventure Ed students had the opportunity to set up the new Kelty tents that recently arrived in the mail. Every group was successful in setting up their tent. On future trips, students will be able to split the weight of these five-pound tents by carrying different parts in their backpacks. These two-person tents fit perfectly with our lightweight backpacking focus. LMS Adventure Ed would like to thank the PTSA for their financial support. These tents could not have been purchased without their help. Adventure Ed students will now have a dry place to stay on wet, chilly nights.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

California Trip - April 11, 2006

Adventure Ed students woke early knowing that they had a full day of exploring awaiting them in Carmel by the Sea ( Students ate breakfast, worked on their journals, packed their bags and headed out the door of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Students walked to the Monterey Transit Plaza and caught the MST route number five to Carmel by the Sea.

The bus dropped the Adventure Ed group off in downtown Carmel. After arriving, the group made a beeline for the ocean beach. On the way to the beach, students and chaperones walked through some of the most expensive neighborhoods on the planet. The custom craftsmanship and the price tags were enough to drop even the most tightly set jaw. When the students arrived at the public beach, a football was pulled out of a backpack. The next forty-five minutes were spent playing “Tackle-the-man-with-the-ball.” No major injuries were sustained. After the game, players threw themselves on the sand, took a quick drink and prepared to push further down the beach.

The group decided to head south to the Carmel River State Beach ( Because the Carmel River had to be crossed, the Adventure Ed class hiked inland and walked across the bridge. The group then cut west into a neighborhood and found a trail leading to the beach. On the way down the trail, students and chaperones spotted some large rock formations on the ocean shore. The group hiked to the rocks and started climbing them. Once on top, students pointed their noses to the wind and took in the view. Later, students made their way out to a rock that was being pounded by the surf. Students stayed on the rock long enough to get wet. Several students were witnessed raising their closed fists in the direction of the open ocean. Students and chaperones looking on from the safe refuge of the beach swore they heard the question “Is that all you’ve got?!” uttered from someone taking waves on the rock. This statement cannot be confirmed because the wind was blowing hard and the surf was pounding the shoreline to the extent that hearing was minimal at best.

After spending several hours at the beach, students walked north along the shore. The plan was to ford the Carmel River if possible. The river was too swift at the mouth, so the group traveled inland up the bank. The group found a spot where the river flattened out. With teacher approval, Lainey and Jason were the first to ford the river. The remaining chaperones and students quickly tied their shoelaces together, slung them over their shoulders and struck out across the river. After reaching the north bank, students put on their shoes and continued their trek back into the Carmel neighborhoods.

After entering the Carmel neighborhoods, the group found a transit stop and waited for the next available bus to Monterey. The bus was able to drop the group off near St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Once inside, students enjoyed dinner and a movie.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

California Trip - April 10, 2006

In the morning, students and chaperones cleaned the basement of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The church needed to use the room later in the day. Everyone pitched in and the area was spotless when the group was done. Mr. O’Connor, Guy’s father, had recently arrived in Monterey on a family visit. He was gracious enough to shuttle the entire group, one carload at a time, to the Monterey Bay Aquarium ( While waiting for a ride, groups that remained at the church played a football game in the parking lot.

When the entire group was assembled, an aquarium guide took us up to a research lab for an hour long class entitled “From Stingers to Spines.” In this class, students had the opportunity to handle many sea creatures including starfish, abalone, hermit crabs and moon snails. Students put food in the animals’ aquariums and watched them react to it. Students were required to sketch several sea creatures in their journals, list facts about them and describe how they reacted to stimuli such as food.

After completing the class, the group was excused. Small groups of students walked with chaperones to nearby restaurants. Several groups visited Carl’s Jr. Although slightly more expensive than McDonald’s, the hamburgers were much better. After eating, groups walked along the Pacific Grove waterfront to the Hopkins Marine Station
of Stanford University ( On the marine station beach, students had a chance to witness a large resident group of harbor seals. Students pointed out several small harbor seal pups. The group then walked back to Cannery Row (, the area captured by John Steinbeck in his famous novel by the same name.

At approximately 1:30 PM, all Adventure Ed groups gathered, once again, in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s research lab. The group was met by two scientists from the Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program ( The two scientists introduced students to the fascinating world of sea otters. The scientists talked about the current sea otter population in Monterey Bay and how they are monitoring their numbers. The conservation program has been working hard to boost the numbers of sea otters in Monterey Bay. After hearing the scientists present information, Adventure Ed students walked outside to the aquarium viewing deck and used high tech equipment to spot sea otters in the immediate area.

At about 2:30 PM, students and chaperones were allowed to explore the aquarium. Some highlights included the kelp forest (, sharks and rays ( and the jellyfish exhibit (

Langley Middle School Adventure Ed would like to thank Scott Stratton and the Monterey Bay Aquarium for allowing our entire group to experience a world-class aquarium free of charge. Your generosity made for an amazing educational experience that both students and chaperones will never forget.

After exploring the aquarium, Adventure Ed students walked to the Monterey Public Library to escape into a book before walking on to St. Timothy Lutheran Church.

California Trip - April 9, 2006

Students woke early, ate breakfast and worked on their journals. Many students were running low on cash, and the group liked the idea of selling lemonade on the Monterey waterfront to help recoup their losses. Posters and donation boxes were constructed out of cardboard. At approximately 10:00 AM, the group wrapped themselves in the yellow emergency blankets that the Cachagua Fire Department ( had given them and embarked on a two-mile trek to the waterfront. The group found a spot by a large fountain in the middle of Monterey State Historic Park. This ideal location was short-lived. The group was told that a permit was needed for the area. Students found an available area outside a Wells Fargo Bank a few blocks to the south. The lemonade business was lukewarm at the new location. The rain began to fall with regularity. Students took a quick break in a Taco Bell located close to the lemonade stand. Inexpensive meals were purchased. Students then went back to St. Timothy Lutheran Church for games or walked to the Monterey Public Library. Later, all met at the church for dinner and a movie.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

California Trip - April 8, 2006

After waking, students were told that they would be without Mr. Daley and Mr. Bergquist, as they would be heading back up to Big Pines camp to pick up forgotten items. The two chaperones began their roundtrip hike at noon and finished at approximately 7:30 PM. Students were happy to recover their lost items.

In the morning, students were assigned chaperones and were expected to help with various work crews in and around the church. Mr. Scoles invited his group to help him change a leaky faucet in the church’s downstairs kitchen. Mr. Snelling’s group cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floor. The work that was completed did not compensate for the church’s generosity, but it helped to show our gratitude in a small way.

After working, students left with their respected chaperones to explore Monterey. Many students visited Colton Hall ( where a guide spoke to them about California statehood. It was in this hall that the constitution of California was drafted. Many official documents were on display. Next, students visited the original jail of Monterey ( and the Old Monterey Chapel, both located near Colton Hall.

Adventure Ed students then caught MST bus number one to Pacific Grove, located in northwest Monterey. There the group visited Los Pinos Lighthouse (, one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the country. The students then walked to Lover’s Point. At the beach, students explored tide pools loaded with hermit crabs, sea anemones and small fish. Past the tide pools, students discovered several large rocks that they enjoyed climbing on. After exploring Lover’s Point, the group caught the bus to downtown, prepared to walk back to the church.

After a full day of exploration, the group reconvened at St. Timothy Lutheran. The group boiled water and ate their freeze-dried dinners as a cost saving measure.

California Trip - April 7, 2006

After waking up at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, the Adventure Ed group walked to the Monterey Public Library. Students and chaperones had a chance to escape into a good book. Many students took advantage of the free internet access offered at the library. Ms. Brereton, a parent chaperone, and Mr. Snelling had made ham and baloney sandwiches at the church. Everyone enjoyed eating them on the sunny library deck. At approximately 1:00 PM, the group walked to the Monterey Sports Center ( The students spent the better part of the day swimming, sliding down the water slide, playing basketball and enjoying fierce ping-pong battles. At around 6:00 PM, students took a break from all the activities and walked to the local McDonald’s. Because everyone was on a tight budget, the “Dollar Menu” items were favored. After eating, the Adventure Ed group walked back to the sports center for more activities. Everyone enjoyed hot showers. At approximately 9:00 PM, students hiked back to St. Timothy Lutheran. Students were becoming accustomed to being active on the trip.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

California Trip - April 6, 2006

The weather in the Ventana Wilderness was too unpredictable. The group’s focus shifted to exploring Monterey and the surrounding area. The students awoke early and prepared to find out what Monterey had to offer for the days ahead. The majority of the group hiked to the Monterey Harbor ( and stopped in at the Harbormaster building. Maps were provided as well as tips on where to go and what to see in Monterey. The group was told that people under sixteen years of age could fish without a permit. This was good news to many in the class. Several students tried their hand at fishing off the Municipal Wharf ( near the Harbormaster building.

After lunch, the group took advantage of the warm, sunny skies and played a game of “Ultimate Frisbee” at the Monterey Bay Park. The game drew the attention of a local television network. The pair of journalists were out to capture people enjoying a rare, sunny day in Monterey. Students in the group told them that they had spent the night before in the sleet at Big Pines camp. The television crew was delighted at their luck, and for the next hour the cameras rolled. Extensive footage was taken of the Frisbee game. The news crew then began interviewing individuals. The group was willing to comply.

After the interviews were over, the group walked to the Monterey Sports Center ( The group was very impressed with the facility and decided to spend a large portion of the following day there. The Adventure Ed class was able to take advantage of a reduced rate of $3.00 per person for the entire day!

After stopping at the Monterey Sports Center, the group walked to a public park on the banks of Lake El Estero ( Students saw fishermen with their limit of five Dolly Varden and decided to try their hand. According to one local, the lake had just been stocked. The Frisbee was taken out and a “Flyers Up” game started. Another part of the group, who had visited the mall, joined the majority of the group at this time.

Because the group would be swimming at the sports center the next day, the class walked several miles to the local Goodwill. Many purchased $3.00 swimsuits. The group then walked back to St. Timothy Lutheran and enjoyed the lasagna and salad that the church provided. The entire group was very thankful for their generosity.

Friday, April 14, 2006

California Trip - April 4 - 5, 2006

Adventure Ed students caught the Carmel Valley school bus from St. Timothy Lutheran Church to Los Padres Dam. The group experienced sun and rain on the bus ride in. It started raining when the group reached the area of the dam. Students pulled out umbrellas and put on ponchos.

The group began the hike to Big Pines camp. Everyone experienced rainy conditions throughout the day with short breaks of sun. Andrea fell and cut her knee shortly after we began the hike. The group stopped and made a shelter with umbrellas. Mr. Scoles and Mr. Snelling, both chaperones on the trip, treated Andrea’s cut. The small cut was treated with antibiotic ointment and a bandage. The group headed up the trail. Students climbed a switchback trail to the top of Blue Rock Ridge. Hikers had to beware of poison oak during this portion of the trail. Raymo put his leggings on shortly after beginning this portion of the trail. Raymo was the only student to experience the effects of poison oak during the trip. Students stayed with adult chaperones throughout the hike. Breaks were taken at regular intervals. Students were encouraged to eat and drink frequently.

Three students, who were hiking with Mr. Snelling, made camp early. These students were Raymo, who was recovering from the flu, Stephan and Guy. The group used a combination of sleeping pads, sleeping bags, tarps and tube tents to make their camp. Mr. Snelling radioed ahead and told the other chaperones that he was pitching camp early.

At 4:00 PM the other sixteen students and chaperones arrived at Big Pines camp. It was not raining at the time of arrival. Mr. Bergquist set up tube tents. Many students had wet clothes. Students were told to change wet clothing and climb into sleeping bags inside their tube tents. After students were settled, Mr. Lars Bergquist and Mr. Scoles left Big Pines camp to help Mr. Snelling set up camp below. At about 4:30 PM it began to rain at Big Pines camp. This rain continued until 6:00 PM when the rain turned to sleet. The precipitation alternated between rain and sleet throughout the night with occasional breaks. Mr. Bergquist and Mr. Lars Bergquist checked in with students throughout the night. At 4:00 AM, Mr. Bergquist told students that they would be heading back down the trail at daybreak. At approximately 7:00 AM, Mr. Bergquist told students to get dressed, pack their bags and get ready to go.

The group spent approximately four hours in route to the dam, which included breaks for water and food. As forecast, the day was mild with many sun breaks, which the students stopped to enjoy. The Cachagua Fire Department ( met the group at the trailhead. The hikers were pleasantly surprised to see them. They were a marvelous group of people who supplied the Adventure Ed group with dry clothes, hot beverages and soup.

The Carmel Valley school bus took the Adventure Ed group back to Monterey’s St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Students took wet, dirty clothes to the Laundromat across the street from the church. There the students met two twins, Ellen and Elaine, who the whole group would get to know as being extremely caring individuals. The “Laundry Twins” provided the class with extra time at the Laundromat, food and well wishes for the remainder of the trip.

California Trip - April 3, 2006

Students woke early in the morning on the train. Many ate breakfast in the dining car. The viewing car was a popular spot during the entire trip. Students enjoyed peering out the large picture windows. The game “Pass the Pigs” was an unexpected highlight. The train arrived at Salinas train station at approximately 5:30 PM. The train had lost about six hours during the trip. Time was lost due to heavy freight on the lines. After exiting from the train, students walked about four blocks to the Salinas Transit Center. The Adventure Ed class caught the Monterey/Salinas Transit (MST) route number 20 to Monterey Transit Plaza. From the transit plaza, the group walked approximately one-and-a-half miles to St. Timothy Lutheran Church ( After checking into the church, students practiced using their emergency stoves to boil water for their freeze-dried dinners. After cleanup, the group unrolled their sleeping pads, crawled in their sleeping bags and went to sleep.

California Trip - April 2, 2006

Adventure Ed students woke up at 6:00 AM in the Langley Middle School Library. After cleaning up, everyone boarded the bus. The group then caught the 7:30 AM ferryboat bound for Mukilteo. We arrived at King Street Station ( in Seattle at approximately 9:00 AM. The train was delayed so students and chaperones had the opportunity to explore the Pioneer Square Area. Mr. Lars Bergquist, a Seattle Public schoolteacher and chaperone on the trip, led students to Occidental Park ( This historic park proved to be a high interest area where students were eager to snap off several pictures. The Adventure Ed class boarded the Coast Starlight train and left Seattle at approximately 11:20 AM bound for Salinas, California. Students busied themselves on the train by working on math homework, socializing with friends and enjoying the scenery of the west coast. That night, students slept in the overhead luggage racks as well as across and under their assigned seats.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

California Trip – April 1, 2006

Adventure Ed students spent April Fool’s evening in the Langley Middle School Library. Students arrived at 8:00 PM with all of their gear packed for the trip. Mr. Bergquist and Mr. Snelling checked bags for several hours. Students kept busy by working on homework assignments, watching a movie or socializing with friends in the class. When told it was time for bed, students took out their sleeping bags, grabbed couch pillows and unrolled their sleeping pads in an attempt to get a few hours sleep.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Emergency Stove Practice - March 24, 2006

Today the Adventure Ed class ventured out to the football field to practice using their emergency stoves. Each student used a solid fuel tablet and a Sierra cup to successfully boil water. This activity will make food preparation easier in California.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Pipeline Team Building Activity - March 20, 2006

Today, Adventure Ed walked down to Langley Marina. On the way down, Raymo and Katelyn spotted a whale swimming down Saratoga Passage. Each Adventure Ed. student witnessed the whale spout twice. The activity for the day centered around team building. Students split into two groups and were given a piece of pipe. Their group goal was to create a pipeline that would allow a marble to pass over all the pieces of pipe and down into a small bucket. Each group completed the task. In the reflection meeting that followed the activity, Guy stated that working as a team will be important for a successful California trip.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Human Knot Team Building Activity - February 23, 2006

Human Knot Activity
Adventure Ed took at walk down to Langley Marina today. The focus for the day was "Team Building." Students were split into small groups. They then formed a circle and took the hand of two different people in the group. In this way, they formed a human knot. Groups worked for twenty-five minutes in an attempt to untie themselves and form a normal circle. Throughout the entire activity, students were very respectful to each other. Developing respectful communication amongst group members is one class focus in Adventure Ed.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Glacier Trip - South Whidbey Record Article

Braving the Mountain: Langley Middle Schoolers go on a Winter Wilderness Adventure

Feb 01 2006
Nineteen seventh-graders from Langley Middle School headed east to Montana last month for a wilderness adventure that included building snow caves, trekking through snow wearing snowshoes and dining on wild elk.

After the four-day trip to Glacier National Park aboard Amtrak, the seventh-grade Adventure Education students agree it is their favorite class, and Nels Bergquist is definitely one of their favorite teachers. Bergquist and several adults accompanied the students on the trip in January.

The students stayed at the park and took classes about wildlife in winter, fire ecology and snow science taught by staff at the Big Creek Outdoor Education center.
Students attended two three-hour classes per day.

“The better part of each day was spent outdoors on snowshoes,” Bergquist said.
As part of the snow science class, the students built snow caves or “quinzhees,” and learned about wilderness survival.

“That night about 80 percent of the 19 started the night in the quinzhee, only two students slept all night in their caves. The cold sent the others back to their cabins about 3 a.m.,” Bergquist said.

The two students who toughed out the below freezing temperatures were Robert Martin and Olin Bergquist.

Robert Martin, Langley Middle School 7th-grader, learns about the insulating warmth of snow. Martin and Olin Bergquist were the only two students to brave the freezing temperatures to sleep all night in a snow cave, or quinzhee. 
“They actually braved the subfreezing Montana temperatures,” Bergquist said.
Although most students didn’t sleep all night in their caves, an important part of the class was actually building one.

“My favorite part of the entire trip was building the snow cave. When it was finished it was a good feeling of accomplishment,” said Seth Sobottka.

“You have to build it right or else it won’t provide shelter from the cold,” he said.
“I liked the snowshoeing, too. It was hard at first, but walking above the snow kept our feet warm,” Sobottka added.

Kelsey Taylor agreed that building the quinzhee was the most fun.
But she learned something else.

“I can take care of myself in the wilderness,” Taylor said.

Just as important as the science on this trip was the social learning. Students had to get along and function as a group.

“We did group challenges that were hard, but they turned out fun,” Sobottka said.
They were even served elk that one of the instructors at the center had shot with a bow and arrow.

“I liked it. It tasted better than steak,” Sobottka said.

“Overall, I thought the trip was a great experience,” he said.

On Jan. 9, the students and chaperones headed for Glacier National Park aboard an Amtrak train. They boarded the train in Everett and pulled out about 6 p.m., arriving at West Glacier at 8:30 a.m. the next morning. The trip back was a reverse, boarding in the evening at West Glacier and arriving at 9:30 a.m. in Everett on Friday, Jan. 13. They finished the day back at LMS.

“Train travel was a new experience for most students. The dining car was kept busy with groups of students taking advantage of hot meals,” Bergquist said. “Students used the tables in the sleeping car to finish homework assignments for their math and English classes.”

“They entertained themselves by socializing, viewing the snow-covered landscape, playing cards and listening to their iPods, and even watching portable DVD players,” Bergquist said.

Sleeping on the train was a challenge.

Students had to get creative in an attempt to catch some winks. They took out sleeping bags and pillows and tried to sleep in reclined seats, on the floor or across several seats.
“There was very little sleep on the way to Glacier. I think they were too excited. But it was a different story on the way home though,” Bergquist said.

“Students just stretched out everywhere and slept. I think they were dog tired from the adventure,” their teacher said.

It’s not the first big outdoor adventure for the class. This class also traveled to Olympic National Park last semester.

And this spring, Bergquist is taking another Adventure Education class on a backpacking trip to the Los Padres National Forest.

The Adventure Education program was founded in 1992 by LMS teachers Chris Burt and Charlie Davies, who both shared a passion for sailing. Previous classes have taken sailing trips that included camping in the San Juan Islands.

The trips are funded by the parents and students.

“I credit the parents’ desire to send their children on theses wilderness trips. They are really supportive,” Bergquist said.

“But we could use some donations. We need new equipment for the program in the worst way,” Bergquist said.

© Copyright 2006 South Whidbey Record

Friday, January 27, 2006

Adventure Ed Funding Request

Langley Middle School Adventure Education Program
South Whidbey School District
Langley, Washington
November 23, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

The Adventure Education Program at Langley Middle School is now about 12 years old; about the age of the kids in the class. It is a small enterprise (first one elective class of 13/14 year old girls and boys then for some years two classes with the addition of a 7th grade section and finally now just one class each semester again) with a long history and big aspirations. It is also at somewhat of a mid-life crisis due to budget constraints, personnel changes and a need for new worlds to conquer.

The program started as a single 8th grade semester class in which a 5 day sailing/kayak/camping trip was planned, executed and documented by students under the guidance of one instructor and one staff member assistant. Typically there was a Fall and a Spring trip each followed by reflection/documentation activities like video creation, slide shows and various presentations to a parents and friends night. The program has served approximately 600 students over the years and was nurtured by two staff members who have now moved on to other things. New people have stepped forward are looking to evolve the program.

The idea behind Adventure Ed. has always been to create an experience of the outdoors that will inspire a sense of wonder and even joy which in turn will form the foundation of future academic interest and excellence. How will kids learn to care about the natural world if they have little direct experience in that world? School bound study is not enough to stimulate a thirst for understanding; Adventure Education and programs like it strive to put the horse back in front of the cart as regards motivation and learning.

Support from our district has been steady but not deep. The program has been allowed to continue but not to thrive; it is exists as a perennial pilot program, a nod to an idea, far from an embrace. Nevertheless our district is something of a pioneer in this area relative to most public school administrations.

Expeditions up to this point have relied on the generosity of individual community people for material support. These sources are reaching exhaustion and were never meant to sustain the program indefinitely. To take this project forward we need a chance to inject new excitement and, well, adventure, into Adventure Education in the hope of gaining acceptance and recognition of the basic idea as profoundly important to development of middle school students.


Charles Snelling

Friday, January 13, 2006

Day Three - Building the Snow Quinzhees - January 11, 2006

Today when I woke up I was so tired. I heard the breakfast bell ring and headed over to the dinning hall. I stepped outside and just about froze to death! For breakfast we had eggs, hash browns, and English muffins. After breakfast my clean up group was assigned to clean up duty, so we had to do dishes and clean off the tables. When we were all done with the torture I went over to get ready for the day. We went on a snowshoeing hike and it was pretty fun but it made your feet feel really heavy. Later when we got back we had lunch, sandwiches again! Then we had another class. We learned about fire ecology and it was really interesting because all the trees around us had been torched by a huge forest fire. Also after the snowshoeing hike we started to build the snow quinzhees. They had to be 5 feet tall and when you dug them out it had to be 12 inches on the bottom and 8 inches on the top. Then later we got a little bit of free time and I watched a movie while everyone else was out digging out the quinzhees. Finally it was time for dinner. We had homemade pizza and salad. It was quite good. During part of the dinner Mr. B was outside digging out the rest of the quinzhees. After dinner we played Jeopardy on all the stuff that we had learned and that was fun. For dessert we got popcorn and everyone pigged out. Most all the girls after the game and dessert were fighting about who got to sleep in the snow shelters. But finally we just said who cares and we all slept outside in the snow and let the boys sleep in the snow shelter. I woke up in the morning around 3:00 am and was covered in snow, so we all went inside to sleep.

By Shayna

Day One - The Train Trip to Glacier National Park - January 9, 2006

When we got to the train station it was around 4:10 and we found out that our train didn't leave till 5:45. None of us knew that we were getting there so early! So all of us sat in the station for what seemed to be forever. While we waited for the train all we could do was buy stuff from the coffee place and sit on the stairs. Tabitha and I were really bored so we went to the coffee place and bought some Italian sodas that had no flavor and were really gross. At around 5:35 everyone was starting to think that the train was going to be late when suddenly the train pulled up! We all abruptly grabbed our bags, which were all overly packed, and loaded the train. The train was two stories tall, but was surprisingly short. I was so amazed when I walked up the stairs; there were so many seats and it was really nice. For the whole night we watched movies and saw how many people could fit in one seat. One of the movies we watched was WAR OF THE WORLDS, and we also watched a bunch of other movies. The most people we could fit in one seat were five: me, Tabitha, Laurie, Conner and Kaylea. I stayed up till about 1:00 am but some people stayed up all night on the train.

By Alissa