Sunday, November 09, 2008

Washington Coast Hike - October 12 - 16, 2008

In the heart of October, the 8th grade Adventure Education class headed out to the Washington Coast. This twenty-five mile backpacking trip was jam-packed with character-building experiences due to poor weather and difficult tides. The class, once again, exceeded my expectations in their stalwart attitude toward the grueling, wet hikes and their willingness to help each other in times of need. Wildlife took center stage on the hike. Students viewed/photographed a sea lion as it walked into the surf. Raccoons were out in force at Cape Alava. Bird migration was in full-swing as large flocks worked their way south. Undoubtedly, the most memorable part of this trip was a bear viewing that lasted the better part of twenty minutes.
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Many thanks to Charlie Snelling, Sarah Diers, Johan Davis and Nancy Scoles. Your willingness to weather the elements for a group of students interested in testing their limitations never ceases to astound me.

Nels Bergquist

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Washington Coast Hike - June 7 - 11, 2008

Gray Whale Scale
At the end of the school year, the Adventure Education class headed out to the Washington coast for a twenty-five mile hike from Rialto Beach to Cape Alava. One memorable aspect of the trip was a rain and windstorm that pounded the group on the third day. To weather the storm, a tarp shelter was built against a rock face at Yellow Banks. Students helped keep a fire burning just outside the shelter to provide warmth. A steaming foot bath was created using a half-buoy filled with water and hot rocks from the fire. The group also had a chance to inspect a beached whale that had rolled up on the shore of Cape Alava. I enjoyed hiking with this group of students who exceeded my expectations in their confrontation with adversity.
Yellow Banks Shelter
Water Source
Many thanks to Charlie Snelling, Steve Scoles, Sarah Diers and Micah Sewell. It would have not been the same without your help and leadership.

Nels Bergquist

Friday, May 30, 2008

Santa Cruz Island Trip - March 22 - 30, 2008

Toward the end of March, the second semester Adventure Education class headed down to Santa Cruz Island, California. This trip tested the metal of both students and leaders. Travel was difficult. A large mudslide in Oregon prompted a bus ride from Portland to Sacramento. Sleep was possible for those hardy enough to lay on the floor of the bus. Trip highlights included hiking through a field of wildflowers on Santa Cruz, sleeping under the stars, solo time on Montanon Ridge, finding several newborn island skunks, a wave-tossed boat ride from Santa Cruz to the mainland and ultimate Frisbee on the Santa Barbara beach. Students' comments follow:

Don't focus on just hiking, like from "a" to "b". Enjoy your surroundings and take it all in.
- Chris

Once we got back from Santa Cruz Island, we visited a farmer's market in Santa Barbara. This was a unique experience because I had never been to a farmer's market that large. I loved it. While I was at the market I bought lemonade (made with real lemons), strawberries (juicy and red), a baguette, and snap peas. I also got an "Obama for President" pin for free!
- Marina
My favorite part of the trip was sleeping on top of the hill on Santa Cruz Island. I had the adventure the night we arrived at the island. After pitching the tents and making sure our belongings were safely packed away inside them, Mr. Bergquist took a small group of us to the top of a nearby hill. It felt so great to be out in the open with nothing between us and the stars. The only lights besides those in the sky were found far below us, across the sea on the mainland. The only sounds I could hear were my classmates' soft voices and the rustling of the grass. I felt so in tune with nature. The wind blew pretty strongly, but it was pleasant and refreshing. After being out in the hot sun all day, the cool breeze was comforting. My sleeping bag worked well to insulate me with heat and I fell asleep easily that night. I woke up well rested the following morning.
- Ramona

When dusk fell, we played Mission Impossible. I provided the glow sticks. The glow stick was on a pedestal, guarded by two headlamp wielders. Everybody else tried to get it. If your name was called, you're out. That was the most fun part.
- Daniel

The most important thing I learned was how to budget my thirty dollars. On the way to California the bus stopped at so many different fast food stores. It was so hard not to buy stuff. Then when we got in California we went to a lot of stores and it was super hard not to spend any money there. I learned to find the cheapest thing of what I want. So that way I can budget my money.
- Megan

This trip was a real eye opener. I saw things on this trip that I had never seen and will probably never see again. I had an amazing time. Both seeing the island and Santa Barbara were things that I think have changed my life forever. This trip has changed my life forever. I have truly based my summer on this trip and decided to do some backpacking and camping this summer on my own as well as with a camp. This has been a life changing experience.
- Claire

The most fun I had on this trip was hiking because it builds your strength...
- Ellie

Adventure Education is by far the best elective I have taken part in this year, and I hope that it will continue for students for years to come. I personally loved this trip because it was a chance for us all to get outside a little bit and stretch our wings. It was very nice sleeping on top of the hill on the first night, something that I had never done before and hope to do again someday. It was one of the best chances I've ever had to watch the stars that well, and was a very memorable night. Overall, I would give Adventure Education a five star rating.
- Jack

The most important thing I learned on the trip was that hard work pays off. There were hard hikes, but the views were amazing.
- Dane

All in all, the trip to California was probably the best part of my life so far. If I had a chance to do it again, I would take it without a thought (but I'd wear more sunscreen). I had to suffer through some things, like walking two miles to get to McGrath State Beach on the side of a highway that smelled like a pulp mill, but it was all worth it. I'll never forget the experiences I had in California. I'll keep the video that we're making in class forever. Adventure Education may be sleeping-on-the-floor-of-a-bus-and-waking-up-with-a-stiff-neck-hard, but I'm loving every minute of it!
- Cassie

I learned a lot on the California trip; a little about camping, and a lot about myself. The most important thing I learned is that I am self sufficient and I can push my limits. I don't need nice clothes and fancy iPods to have a good time. All I need is myself, a few good friends and the "great outdoors". Okay, I admit, that might sound a bit cliche, but it's the truth! Hiking, swimming, sunning, exploring, traveling, and growing. It's all a part of the splendor of being able to do it; necessary to realize who you are and what you are capable of doing. Ugh, here I go again with my corny cliches! But I don't think I can talk about self sufficiency and realization without sounding corny and cliche. Without any further sappy lines, I'll just say I really needed this eye opening experience to get me headed in the right direction and to steer me away from Paris Hiltondom.
- Emily

One thing I liked about this trip was getting closer to people I didn't know before, a lot of kids and adults that went on this trip I barely knew their name. Now in the hallways we wave or even stop and talk for a little while, when before we didn't even look at each other.
- Sienna

I think I really learned the lesson that we are so spoiled! People all over the world are in poverty and homeless, just getting by. Yet we are complaining that we need this and that! After going on this trip we managed fine with what was on our backs. No TV's, computers, video games or cell phones. On the island all we had was food, water, some clothes and each other! Even though living the life of luxury is great, whenever I think I need something I'll have to stop and think about this trip and remember that I don't NEED anything extra. It's more I WANT it! I also learned that with perseverance you can succeed. At first when we started slacklining I could not walk even one step. With practice everyday I got better and better. By the end I was walking ten steps and turning around. "Give a little, get a little."
- Jessica

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Many thanks to Charlie Snelling, Gena Kraha and Micah Sewell. As always, I appreciate your help and leadership.

Nels Bergquist

Friday, April 18, 2008

Journal Making - March 4 - 12, 2008

On Tuesday, the Adventure Education class began working on hand-made journals. The journals will be used each day in California and on the Washington coast. The journals will serve as a reminder to all students of their Adventure Education experiences for years to come.
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The class would like to thank Gena Kraha. Your guidance made this a successful experience for all involved.

The Adventure Ed. Class

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Santa Cruz Island Trip - January 12 - 21, 2008

In mid-January, the Adventure Education class embarked on a trip to Santa Cruz Island, off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Nighttime temperatures were mild, and daytime highs peaked in the mid 70’s. Highlights included lively conversation on the Coast Starlight Amtrak train, exploring the Santa Barbara mission, attending classes at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), a catamaran ride, camping and hiking on Santa Cruz Island, viewing island foxes, walking a slackline, playing mission impossible and witnessing the birth of a grey whale. Students’ comments follow:

Birth of a Gray
On the way back from the island we caught a catamaran. The captain of the catamaran pointed out the whale to us. He told us it was a Gray and told us some information about it. He said it looked like it was lost, confused or pregnant. We followed it for awhile, and soon after out came a baby gray whale. I still have a hard time believing it. I feel so lucky for having that experience.
- Sam D.

The first thing I learned was to take care of my belongings. I forgot to put my hat into my tent that night. As I approached my tent Micah was videotaping me for some reason. Then Jesse told me a fox left a present in my hat. I reached my hat and there it was, a fox dump. It was funny but gross.
- Brittany

This trip has changed my life and will always stay with me.
- Jimmy

This trip teaches you to accept people for who they are and try to always get along. I learned more about some people that I had not spent much time with before. I’m now friends with a lot more people and closer to more friends.
- Will

When I went on this trip I saw how hard it can be to live with very little money. How to compare different products, I found myself checking can sizes and prices on every brand of salsa in the store. I learned how to get more bang for my buck, and how important some of the smallest details can change your budget. This was a very good lesson learned though, and I am very glad I learned it.
- Sam L.

On the catamaran trip to Ventura we witnessed the birth of a California Gray Whale. This was a once in 500 lifetimes chance. It was something I will remember forever.
- John

We had a lot of down time and extra time on the train. During this time we used it to talk and play games. A lot of people shared old stories and memories. I think that was really cool because I left the trip knowing more than I did before.
- Jessica

I learned that when you go on an Adventure Education trip it always doesn’t have to be in the woods, it can be anywhere, like in the city or to another school.
- Brianna

I was so lucky to be able to have this opportunity, and I think that more schools should have programs like this. I hope to have a trip like this again soon!
- Tommy

One day I was up till dark slack lining trying to perfect my technique, and it paid off. On the last day at the island I could walk all the way across the line. My record was twelve steps.
- Daniel

Visiting the university was very interesting. I attended a Greek Mythology class with literally hundreds of people. The university was very big, with bike trails running throughout it. From being in this Adventure Ed. program I’ve learned many things, and it has influenced me to travel and backpack more.
- Riley

I have to say I loved this trip. My whole life I have wanted to go to California, and I went there and it was awesome. I even got to go by myself. The really cool thing about Adventure Ed. is that I’m pretty sure that no other schools get to go places for ten days or even two. This is the best class that you could take in my perspective. This trip was also one of the most fun trips I’ve ever gone on. I encourage anyone who reads this to go outside and just explore, go walking, see where it takes you and enjoy it.
- Quintin

California was really fun. I hope to come back and show people its true beauty and its wounds.
- Pat P.

I learned that you need to make sure your tent mate zips up the tent or the raccoons will eat all your food and the foxes will chew holes in your shorts. I learned that I can’t sleep very well on trains, but I can manage when I haven’t had much sleep. I can rely on myself. I make good decisions. I’m a strong person. I have more confidence in myself now. I learned that I can survive on my own, but I’m happy to come home to my family.
- Jesse


Many thanks to Charlie Snelling, Gena Kraha, Micah Sewell and Ramona Emerson. Your efforts made this trip another success.

Nels Bergquist