Sixth Grade Catalina Field Trip

Each year, students build upon their outdoor education experiences with field trips and camping trips that take them further away from home for longer periods of time. These trips build self-confidence, deepen peer and teacher relationships, and allow parents the opportunity to experience the growing independence of their children in a safe and educational environment.

In April, our sixth graders lucked out with some amazing weather during their Spring field trip to Catalina Island. Along with middle school science teacher Meredith Thomas and other skilled outdoor educators from Naturalists at Large, students spent several days at the Emerald Bay campground exploring Catalina’s unique environment, both on and off land.

“My favorite part was kayaking because of the way the water moved. It was calm and we kayaked next to dolphins!” – 6th grade student

Students spent sunny days in kayaks, snorkeling through kelp forests, studying tide pools, hiking on trails, and studying the stars around evening campfires.

 “It was an honor to accompany sixth grade on this new outdoor education trip this year and watch them immerse themselves in Catalina Island’s diverse and unique ecosystem. Watching students kayak through the turquoise waters glittering with kelp and hearing them excitingly yell out about each Garibaldi they saw is a memory I will always keep. We got so lucky with the ocean swell and weather; the water was extremely clear and the sun shined down on us daily. Passionate naturalists led them on so many activities including a hike along the rugged coast, encouraging them through the tough spots and effortlessly balanced learning and play each day. The last evening students created their own skits and ate s’mores around the campfire, cherishing their time together. Catalina Island is such a magical place, and I know that this trip filled each student with new knowledge and a new sense of adventure.”

– Meredith Thomas, Middle School Science Teacher

More About Outdoor Education Trips in Middle School

In middle school, students begin the year with teachers and peers, camping for several days in northern beach campgrounds. In Spring, sixth graders might explore Catalina Islands (Naturalists at Large) or venture to central California, camping for a week exploring mountain trails and tide pools. Our seventh and eighth graders travel by plane to other states to sleep in teepees, to river raft, and to study forest and glacier science by attending programs in Washington state (Nature Bridge), Wyoming (Teton Science School), or Utah (Canyonlands Field Institute), and others. While there, they engage in active, meaningful, transformative, hands-on, outdoor curriculum that integrates science, history, literature, and art.

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