Monday, October 26, 2009

Washington Coast Hike - October 5 - 9, 2009

Trail Snack - Washington Coast Hike
Adventure Education students were extremely lucky to experience fantastic weather on our latest trip to the Washington coast. The group worked well together as they tackled slippery terrain, steep overland routes and swarms of kelp flies while trekking from Rialto Beach to Cape Alava. As always, it is a pleasure working with the students of South Whidbey. Students' comments follow:

The most important thing that I learned on the trip was probably how to survive in the outdoors. That consisted of cooking, hiking and getting water from streams. And last but not least, I learned ow to make friends.
- Finley

The most important thing I learned on this trip was that teamwork gets things done faster than you can yourself.
- Matt
I learned that people can't always be there to guide me. I had to make good decisions about both where to go and how to get there. If I made the wrong choice, them I am there to fix it too.
- Taylor

One time we saw the sun as it set below the horizon. The clouds were pink, and the sky was purple. The sun slowly sank down until there was nothing but a sliver of gold, then went out of sight and everything started to darken...
- Chris

I learned that you really need to take things seriously and be safe.
- Rhylie

The most important thing that I learned on the trip was that we are very spoiled living here.
- Maia

I noticed that I don't need all the "required" things to live like makeup, my hair straightener and all the right clothes. I also noticed that my mom and dad aren't going to be there for me my whole life. That taught me to be self-sufficient and confident. This program is on of the best things I have ever been a part of.
- Odessa

One thing that I learned that I think is most important is to use space well.
- Mac

I learned how to sort my backpack. This was a key thing because I had to keep the pack level so each shoulder would share the weight. Another thing I learned was how much I relied on others and they relied on me to help them. On this trip, one of the most important things I learned was the souvenirs were not just a key chain, but a memory and memories tell thousands of words.
- Davin

I think the most important thing I learned on this trip was how fun it is to be out in nature away from civilization with a good group of friends.
- Sage
Overland Route - Washington Coast Hike
When we went to bed I was awoken by a growling noise. I looked out my tent and there were like four raccoons going through my garbage bag. Luckily they didn't get much. I really loved the group I was in.
- Anders

This trip was great, it was so much fun for me and I learned more on the coast then I would have in about a month in classrooms. My favorite thing I learned is that being away from home and away from things like the computer and TV for a week is really good for you. It changes how you feel about things like that.
- Jack

I think one of the most important things I learned on this trip was that working in a team really works. When someone needed help people would help them. As a group we really learned how to work as a team and I think that really made all the difference.
- Malika

I wondered what send flies tasted like so Donald tried one and he said it tasted like beef jerky, so I tried one but it was too small to taste. I would say that being strong, not giving up and committed is what I learned on this trip.
- Alexa

This coast hike was the funnest while at the same time the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Probably the most important thing I've learned was that no matter how short or long your life is, live it to the fullest. Sure, some parts will be terrible. It's about the good parts in life. Live it with your friends and family before it's gone.
- Riley

Whale Petroglyph - Wedding Rocks, Washington Coast Hike
We learned things about people that we wouldn't even talk to at school. By the end of the trip, we were truly like a big family.
- Helen

This experience has reminded me that I am physically and mentally strong and able to accomplish difficult things if I try. It has given me confidence in whatever I do. It has been the best class I have ever took.
- Chloe

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Hats off to another amazing group of chaperones: Charlie Snelling, Lars Bergquist, Sara Diers, Johan Davis and Ryan Davenny. Your desire to test students' limits is noted. I will continue to push to keep this program at Langley Middle School.


Nels Bergquist

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Washington Coast Hike - June 7 - 11, 2009

Our June trip to the Washington coast offered the best weather I can ever remember. Not a single drop of rain fell on our stalwart group of 7th/8th grade Adventure Education students as they trekked the twenty-five miles of coastline between Cape Alava and Rialto Beach.

The trip's beautiful weather prompted swimming and body-surfing at every opportunity. Roaring bonfires were built and maintained to warm those returning from the waves. Blood-red sunsets and hot coals were a pleasant way to close out a day of difficult hiking.

On another note, the beached whale that we encountered in June of '08 was almost completely gone. Nature does not take long in cleaning its beaches.

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Students were extremely lucky to have another set of superb chaperones on this adventure. Many thanks to Charlie Snelling, Roc Gianni, Sara Diers, Jon Paul Dowdell and Jess Dowdell. This quite simply could not have happened without you.


Nels Bergquist

Press play button for trip slideshow.

Friday, April 10, 2009

San Francisco Bay Area Trip - March 20 - 29, 2009

In March, the Langley Middle School Adventure Education class made its maiden voyage to the San Francisco Bay Area. The group of twenty students and three adult chaperones used public transportation throughout the entire journey. Everything that was needed was carried on the backs of each individual involved.

The trip began at the Clinton ferry terminal on Whidbey Island. The group walked across the ferry, caught the Sounder commuter train to Seattle and boarded the Amtrak Coast Starlight train at King Street Station bound for Emeryville. The ride down the coast took approximately twenty-three hours total.

The Bay Area offers an exceptional public transportation system for those willing to delve into its array of schedules. After arriving in Emeryville, the group walked to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station and took the subway into the heart of San Francisco. From there, the group navigated the city streets using the Muni, Golden Gate Transit System and the West Marin Stagecoach.

Highlights for this trip included joining an optional war protest which ended at San Francisco's city hall, camping at Mount Tamalpais State Park, summiting Mount Tam, hiking Muir Woods, two nights of camping and hiking on Angel Island and exploring the following districts in San Francisco: Tenderloin, Mission, Chinatown, Castro and Haight.

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Many thanks to Charlie Snelling and Roc Gianni. Your quick wit and rock-solid leadership made this Adventure Education trip another success.


Nels Bergquist

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Santa Cruz Island Trip - January 10 - 19, 2009

Eighth grade Adventure Education headed south by train in mid-January bound for Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz Island. The adventure began on day one. Rain and snow caused flooding on Interstate 5. Amtrak cancelled the stretch of track between Seattle and Portland less than twenty-four hours before our departure. Fortunately, we were granted safe passage down to Portland via district bus. Once on the train, the group was able to keep to the planned schedule.

The weather in southern California was quite a change from the foot of snow we experienced in Washington prior to departure. Throughout the journey, the group experienced highs in the low to mid 80’s. Clear, sunny skies were the rule…sunscreen a must.

Santa Cruz Island never ceases to inspire. Students were treated to a show of dolphins, pelicans and grey whales on the catamaran cruise over, mission impossible at night, fresh oranges and cherimoyas on the hike to Smuggler’s Cove, island foxes, slackline practice and spectacular views from the top of Montanon Ridge.

Highlights on the mainland included a tour of UC Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara mission and courthouse, Frisbee in Alameda Park and a look at the boardwalk while seated on a bicycle built for seven.

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This trip proved to be yet another giant success thanks in part to a mighty group of chaperones: Charlie Snelling, Johan Davis, Christian Gaggia and Jon Paul Dowdell. Your donation of time to the students of Langley Middle School will not be forgotten.


Nels Bergquist