Always in the deep woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is an ancient fear of the unknown and is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. -- Wendell Berry

The TRIP: GUINEA - wonkifong --> MALI - bamako, djenne, douentza, Dogon Country --> Burkina Faso - ouagadougou, bobo-dioulasso, bala, ouagadougou --> GHANA - tamale, mole national park, tamale, yeji, volta lake ferry, akosombo, accra, green turtle lodge, elmina, cape coast, accra, hohoe and wli falls --> TOGO - kpalime, atakpame, lome --> BENIN - cotonu (transport stop) --> NIGER - niamey, tahoua, agadez, camel trek in aiir mtns, niamey --> BENIN (abomey, grand popo, ouidah, ganvie, cotonou) --> CAMEROON (douala, buea, top of Mt Cameroon, limbe, sangelima, yaounde, kribi, douala) --> MAURITANIA (nouakchott, atar, chinguetti, camels into the sahara, terjit, choume, ride the coal train, nouadhibou) --> MOROCCO (western sahara, dakhla, agadir, essaouira, marrakesh, imlil, summit of jebel toubkal, fes, chefchaouen) --> cross the Strait of Gibraltar --> Malaga, Spain --> fly to Geneva, Switzerland --> Les Grangettes, France
Click for a map. Updated April 30, 2007

samedi, mai 27, 2006

69 7th graders and a trip to the beach!

Yeah, I know what you are thinking. You think that someone has to be crazy to drive to the beach with loads of 7th graders. What if I sweeten the pot and tell you that this little adventure lasted three nights and four days. In the rain. You've probably got a decent image in your mind but I assure you that it is likely incorrect. One of the great things my school does it get outside with students in ways that will teach them about their local ecosystems and allow them to bond with each others, teachers and other adults. It was a fabulous trip!

In both the fall and spring, we take overnight trips with our class, the entire school or a grade level. The focus of the spring trip is marine biology. 6th graders explore the Oregon coast near Newport, 7th graders near Tillamook and 8th graders head south to LA for a week excursion to Catalina Island (this is where I went the last two years).

This year, I went with the 7th graders and we had a wonderful time. This trip has a bit of a slant in that there is a heavy emphasis on art within the marine environment. The trip involves a tour of galleries in Cannon Beach and then 8 hours of intensive art exploration taught by wonderfully talented parents and volunteers. This time is broken up by science and writing classes taught by SES staff. Evenings include campfire featuring a “Burning Man” created by the sculpture class, songs (this year we had an expert song writer/accordion player with us and a wonderful drumming leader), skits, stories and a lot of laughter.

As my last trip with SES, I was very happy to spend it with this wonderful group of 7th graders.
This link will take you to a few photographs from the trip. Unfortunately, the majority of my photographs are of students having a great time and I can't put them up. Imagine smiling, laughing and energetic students immersing themselves into art and science on the Oregon Coast.