Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School seventh-graders took their inaugural trip to Yosemite National Park in April.
For five days and four nights, the students explored the park, learned about its natural and human history, and simply enjoyed spending time with one another.
Highlights included crawling through caves, hiking to raging water falls, braving the cold waters of Mirror Lake, learning how to make a fire using sticks, and seeing a black bear and cub. Along the way they learned about watersheds, environmental justice, and the indigenous history of the valley. They also spent time journaling, painting, and playing games around the campfire.
Throughout the trip, students challenged themselves and stepped out of their comfort zones. The experience helped them become more inclusive, adventurous, and confident. As one student declared, “This is the best trip we’ve ever been on!”
The trip was part of Santa Catalina’s IEB program (Imagine Explore Become), a collection of overnight, outdoor excursions in grades 4-8. Read about grade 6’s trip to Mount Hermon and grade 8’s visit to Washington, D.C.