Early Monday morning the Elementary II class met at Denver International Airport and began their week-long class trip to the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program. On Monday they rock climbed and participated in team building exercises. In the evening they enjoyed a night sky workshop where they learned about constellations while laying under the stars. On Tuesday they participated in a service learning program in which they learned about indigenous plants and animals and helped to dig up non-native fennel. They worked on art projects in nature in the Andy Goldsworthy style and in the afternoon they enjoyed their first snorkel. They were filled with wonder at the site of the underwater plants and animals. They completed their day with a night hike. On Wednesday they kayaked to cove and observed the seals and sea lions. They also paddled to a rock that the Spanish left out of the plans when selling the area to the United States, named Indian Rock. Next was a shoreline investigation of tidal pools and fauna. Late in the day they enjoyed another snorkel where they went a little farther and deeper into the ocean. The ended the day with a campfire and storytelling. Today the students will garden and compost, enjoy an ecology hike, and a night snorkel.
Class trips in the Elementary program offer significant opportunity for growth for all ages. The children prepare for their trips in weeks prior and follow up work is available in their classrooms upon their return for additional exploration of the respective subject areas. The Elementary II children are learning a great deal this week, growing in their independence, and of course, having a lot of fun.