While Mountain Shadow’s Elementary II class left this morning for Catalina Island, Calif. and a week at its environmental leadership program (CELP), the preparation has been weeks in the making for this anticipated experiential trip.
CELP is an overnight outdoor education program that combines the experience and creative efforts of Catalina Island Camps and the Ocean Futures Society.
While on Catalina, students are led on a variety of land and sea activities blending outdoor adventure with learning and team building. Students will have options for studies in marine exploration, terrestrial exploration, human lifestyle, ecological restoration (service learning), team building, and evening programs.
In preparation, Mountain Shadows fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students have been researching the state of California, as well as animals, and the environment they may experience on Catalina. Trifold presentations included research on raccoons, sea otters, bottle nose dolphins, sharks, whales, kelp forests, constellations, and facts about California.
Which findings really resonated with students?
“Sea otters wrap themselves in kelp so they don’t drift away,” said Joshua. “ Egyptian cobras sometimes go into a house and eat trash,” added Aidan. “The different species of whales indigenous to the area,” said Ben. While Lance learned that the first McDonalds opened in 1940 in San Bernardino.
After what they learned about CELP and the island, what are the children most looking forward to (other than who they get to sit next to on the plane)? Night snorkeling, the constellation, seeing dolphins, seeing a California king snake, kissing a sea cucumber, visiting a kelp forest, kayaking, and rock climbing top the list. Elementary II teacher, Justin, added putting his toes in the sand at the top of his list!
It will be interesting to see if the trips’ most memorable experiences are those they are most looking forward to!