7th Grader Trip to Catalina with photos!
Posted March 31, 2011
Everyone came back happy and tanned. But I am sure that our little adventurers were really happy to take a long shower and sleep in their little beds after a kiss good night...Even if camping is great, there is nothing like home!
The week went really well. The CELP staff said that Le Lycée Français is one of their favorite schools. Our students are always well behaved. They are curious, dynamic, and love to discover. We are really proud of our little adventurers.
Please enjoy some of the pictures they brought back... It’s even better in pictures than in writing.
Update for Thursday, March 31st, 2011: It’s already Thursday! This morning, our little adventurers woke up and enjoyed another amazing breakfast: homemade waffles, sausage, fresh juice, yogurt, and the usual trip to fresh fruit & cereal bar.
Two of the three groups went for their last kayak adventure. They stopped in a small creek, moored their kayaks, and explored the tidepools and beach habitat. They examined the organisms found in the intertidal zone and learned about the adaptations that help them survive in this constantly changing environment. The third group went on the Eco Hike. They hiked the hillsides of Catalina to explore how terrestrial species meet the challenges of survival. They also talked about the impact of humans and introduced plants and animals on island ecosystems. And, of course, they took the time to enjoy the wonderful views of the island and ocean.
Lunch was delicious as always. Students were able to create their own wraps with a choice of deli meat or cheese (or both), potato salad, chips, and fruits were also available to complete the menu.
This afternoon, all groups will go enjoy one of the most popular activity: High Ropes Course Challenge. With elements like the Eagle’s Perch, Catwalk, and broken bridge, the high ropes course offers plenty of challenges and excitement. Students are fully equipped with ropes, harnesses, and helmets and are supported by an on-ground belay team. It’s a good way for our students to expand their comfort zone and to seal friendship! Count “one-two-three” and make a leap of a lifetime.
Tonight after a traditional Turkey dinner with potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, homemade biscuit, and cake, our little adventurers will turn one last time into ninjas for a night snorkel. They are going to use underwater flashlights to look for lobsters, bat rays, and other nocturnal creatures. At one point they will turn their flashlights off. They will find themselves swimming into a see of stars! What? Don’t worry, they will, actually, be swimming in the amazing bioluminescent plankton glitter! At the end of their night snorkel session, they will enjoy a hot chocolate to warm up.
And last but not least, they will leave the camp after one last activity and lunch. Don’t forget that our little adventurers will back at school tomorrow around 3:00 to 3:30p.m depending on traffic. The boat is expected to arrive at San Pedro at 1:45pm where a bus will pick them up and bring them back to the school. Since they will arrive at “pick up” time, the bus will drop them off in front of the Teacher Parking Lot on the west side of Overland across from Rose Avenue: 3360 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Please feel free to park in this parking lot while waiting for the return of our little adventurers.
Update for Wednesday, March 30th, 2011: Second night and third day already in Catalina. Our little adventurers are still full of energy and are enjoying every second of their experience under a wonderful sun. Everyone slept well last night after a long day of fun and discovery. This morning, the first excitement was breakfast with fresh juice, scrambled eggs, homemade hash browns, and the usual trip to fresh fruit & cereal bar.
Around 9:00a.m., they all left for their first long kayak adventure. They explored the wonders of the island while paddling a sit-on-top kayak. They looked down upon the kelp forest from the surface of the sea. They were also able to watch various terrestrial ecosystems from a different perspective. Their kayak session was punctuated by interesting stories of the island as well as information about coastal plants and animal life. And guess what? No one got seasick, just some sore arms! I can assure you that at lunchtime, they were all really happy to sit in front of their homemade chicken or vegetarian patty burger, freshly-cut French fries, and a nice coleslaw salad.
This afternoon the three groups are going to work on stopping the spread of invasive plants. The activity is called Ecological Restoration and Service Learning. They will start by a walk-through of a restored creek bed and get a thorough introduction into the field of restoration ecology. Soon action will take over the talking. Students and chaperones will roll up their sleeves and start their ecological action: plant removal, seed collection, native planting. We choose to participate in this new program to give something back to this beautiful island and help the CELP organization in their project.
Tonight’s menu includes: homemade Mexican lasagna, pinto beans, and the salad and fruit bar. And guess what delicious homemade dessert they will have? Churros!!!
To conclude this wonderful day, before bedtime, they will go for a night hike and lay out on the grass under the stars! They will learn about planets, constellations, and galaxies.
What a wonderful day full of adventures, we all would love to be a 7th grader again!
Update for Tuesday, March 29th, 2011: Our young adventurers spent their first night in their cabins after an afternoon and evening full of activities. Climbing walls, team building, kayaking, a slide show and a night hike were on yesterday's agenda. They got a good night's sleep all bundled up in their sleeping bags. This morning the sun was high in the sky to welcome them on their second day on Catalina Island. They started the day with hot chocolate, fruit juice, homemade pancakes, bacon, yogurt, and a trip to the fresh fruit & cereal bar, where they can pick and choose their favorites. They had to fill up with energy for their first ocean orientation: Snorkeling!
Suddenly, our young adventurers all turned into super ninjas! They are all dressed up in black wetsuits, masks, snorkels, and fins that children as they and their chaperones went out for their first snorkel. They learned about snorkeling techniques and discovered the marine ecosystem. It was a fun adventure in the wonders of the kelp forests of Catalina. Warm soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, chips, and an Asian tossed salad were waiting for them at the camp cafeteria.
This afternoon two groups will learn about Sustainable Living and Garden/Composting, while the third group will work on Team Building and get challenged by the Climbing Wall.
Before their evening activities, everyone will enjoy some good BBQ thighs, red roasted potatoes, cornbread, corn-on-the-cob, and the usual fare from the salad and fruit bar! Did I forget to mention the warm homemade cookies?!
After this long journey, it’s around a big camp fire that our young adventurers will digest their nice dinner and learn all about the “Pimu.” If you don’t know what a Pimu is, don’t forget to ask your child when he/she comes back!
Update for Monday, March 28th, 2011: Our young adventurers left early this morning and made it safe to Catalina Island!
Everyone was on-time and the bus left around 7:20a.m. Even if it was an early start, students and chaperones were smiling and excited for their Catalina adventure. They arrived around 9:00a.m at San Pedro and left on time on Catalina Express ferry. They arrived directly at the camp around 11:30a.m. Students went to their cabins, unpacked their luggage, and relaxed a little bit. Around 12:30p.m, they all enjoyed an homemade lunch: quesadilla with rice and refried beans, fixings from a huge salad bar, and a fruit bar. Around 1:30p.m, students were divided into their group activities and were ready to go enjoy their first adventure: Kayak, Climbing, and Hiking depending on their group. They should be back around 5:30p.m. for dinner and a nice evening program. Tonight's menu is: Corkscrew pasta with Meatballs or Vegetarian Meatballs and tomato sauce, side of vegetables, homemade garlic bread, Salad Bar and Fresh Fruit Bar, and homemade brownies!!!
What does a day at Catalina Environmental Leadership Program (CELP) look like:
9:00am: Morning Activities
12:15pm: Lunch/Free time
2:00pm: Afternoon Activities
5:00pm: Free Time
7:00pm: Evening Activities
9:30pm: Back to Cabin and Quiet Time
10:00pm: Lights Out
Please check back here everyday for updates on our little adventurers!