Sunday, January 23, 2011

IW Goes on a Field Trip!

Ali splashes around in the Cascades
Last weekend, IslandWood grads took a trip to the North Cascades Institute (NCI) to rendezvous with NCI, Wilderness Awareness School (WAS), and Olympic Park Institute (OPI) grads. We met some great people and got some new perspectives in environmental education.

The action began on the drive up into the Cascades. We stopped to relish the beauty of a roadside waterfall.

A lovely detour!

Chuck, a true wilderness man

Amanda and Lauren enjoy a refreshing mist  

Waterfalls bring out Chris' animal instincts
Once at NCI, we unpacked our bags and toured the campus. We then had a lovely, fresh, local, and delicious burrito dinner. Lauren surprised the group with her famous rendition of "Oreo, Oreo, Oreo Cookie!" during dessert - which indeed included Oreos. Dinner was followed by some fun ice-breaker games!

Establishing our sense of place

Lauren wows the crowd. Here she is singing/yelling the line: "Rip off the top and lick out the middle!"
We're such a supportive community

Showing off some skills during group challenges
The games continue
Unwinding after a long day

The next day, IW grads joined the other groups in breakout sessions. We learned more about identifying plants in the winter, the history of Ross Dam (and photography too!), animal tracking, the art of being a naturalist, and nature journaling. The rain wouldn't slow down - but we made the most of it!

Getting a closer look at some tracks in the snow
 A foggy look at Diablo Lake

Really excited about Ross Dam!

The view below was spectacular!

Afternoon sessions went on while keeping a close eye on flooding and the possibility of landslides. Afterwards, half of the IslandWood crew decided not to test their luck and left before nightfall. It earned them an award for "Most Responsible". 

Sourdough Creek gushes!

All IW'ers  got home safely! The group that stayed the extra night were able to get to know the other grads a bit more, had a campfire and learned some new songs, and during the awards ceremony Chuck earned "Best Pants". The rest of the group earned "Sticking it Out".

   Music jam on the last night
The pants that earned Chuck his award. (Corduroy, patchwork and camouflage - in case you couldn't tell)
Some of the obstacles faced on the way home:
Fallen rocks (ie. mini-boulders)
Puddles (ie. mini-ponds) 
Team Brave show off their "Sticking it Out" award!
All things considered, the weekend was a success! Grads got to connect with like-minded, caring, and fun individuals. In February, IslandWood will visit the Wilderness Awareness school. Shortly after, the grads from these amazing environmental education centers will get to visit our campus - where we will get to show them all of the great things that have made IslandWood grads feel that there is nowhere in the world they would rather be.

*Grads have been working hard on projects for our Natural History class. Stay tuned as we let you in on some of the exciting field work being done!

No comments: