Despite rainy weather, a hard gym floor, and sometimes ill-prepared campers, our 5th Grade Coastal Adventure was a mega-hit with kids, parents, and teachers alike. Our first major stop was at the South Slough Estuary near Charleston. Here the kids hiked down the Hidden Creek Trail to activity stations where they learned about pickleweed, migrating birds, estuary soup, and uplands wildlife. Next, we pulled in at Sunset Bay State Park where rain and surf combined to soak the majority of our students. Fortunately we had rented the gazebo. Kids crowded around picnic tables covered with hotdogs, potato salad, chips, cookies, and soda, then gathered around the campfire to roast marshmallows and to keep warm. Once we’d rescued all the lost shoes, jackets, and frisbees from the beach, we headed to North Bend High School. After setting up our bunks, we then walked to the aquatic center down the street for a vigorous swim and a few Tarzan escapades on the rope swing. What followed was a rough night on the gym floor under lights that couldn’t be fully dimmed, but the kids awoke in good spirits and headed off to breakfast at Cape Arago. We then descended on the tide pools, applying what we’d learned from our research projects to a series of short videos (see below). We concluded our day with brief stops at the Simpson Reef Viewpoint where we watched harbor seals and sea lions through telescopes, and at the Charleston Marina where we checked out the fishing vessels.
Special thanks to all the amazing parents who assisted with the trip: Mrs. Odom, Mrs. Hawkins, Mrs. Collom, Mrs. Westbrock, Mr. Herbst, Mr. Gerhard, Mrs. Hamre, Mrs. Gregg, Mrs. Acrey, Ms. Coy, Mrs. Colbert, Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Medina, Mrs. Bass, and Mr. and Mrs. Spencer.