At One Spark Academy, we take our adventures seriously! We partner with NatureBridge to bring our students the most awesome, hands-on, and memorable experiences possible. Our adventures are unplugged from the indoor world so that we can plug into the natural, outdoor world. Like us, NatureBridge promotes the idea of nurturing kids’ independence and self-reliance, while examining the importance of our interdependence with one another and the world around us.
WHAT WE’LL DO:
We’ll spend a full week outdoors in one of the most beautiful classrooms on Earth! With the towering majesty of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls looming above them, students will hike through the dramatic landscapes of Yosemite, explore ancient groves of giant sequoias, and challenge themselves to hike up to cascading waterfalls. With the incredible resources of NatureBridge, they will explore the geologic history of the Sierra Nevada; engage in field research projects, such as macroinvertebrate biomonitoring; and discover how the environment has supported humans, from the early Miwok to the present. NatureBridge works closely with the National Park Service and utilizes some of the data that students will collect and compile.
Four nights will be spent nestled in Curry Village, which is under Half Dome and where students will sleep in heated tent-style cabins. Students will enjoy delicious food, day programs with an experienced NatureBridge educator, and inspiring evening programs (such as an art class, a night hike, or a collaborative activity). During the day, we will be out in the field, walking and/or hiking anywhere from 5-8 miles over the course of the day, in all types of weather. On our challenge day (and weather permitting), we will hike the upper Yosemite Trail past Columbia Point, and take in some of the most incredible views of the valley. Other adventures may include Spider Cave, the Merced River, Glacier Point, a spirit walk through the valley, climbing through a felled giant sequoia, and so much more. This is an adventure not to be missed!
- Student cost is approximately* $750: includes transportation, comfy accommodations, all meals and snacks (including meals en route), all activities, and a contribution toward OSA teacher-chaperone costs.
- *A bus will make the trip substantially more. If we don’t have enough chaperone drivers, we will ask parents with LARGE, SAFE, FULLY-INSURED vehicles to drive a leg of the trip; they will be fed and put up for a night at a hotel (in Oakhurst) for each leg of the trip
- Monday, April 13: Meet at the Teen Center early (6:30 AM) for driving to Yosemite. Arrival at Curry Village by 3:00.
- Monday-Friday: Sit down breakfast T-F, and then out in the field each day T-TH, 9:00-4:00 PM (lunch on the trail), followed by delicious sit-down dinners (buffet-style at Curry Village), and then an evening program each night. Midweek we’ll take our “big” hiking days, although there will be hiking, exploration, and team-building daily! Other activities include studies, experiments, and activities learning about the geological landscape (rock cycle, tectonic plates), the history of Yosemite, and issues that impact our National Parks.
- Friday, April 17: Breakfast, morning activities, then lunch, and depart in chaperone vehicles (or bus). Arrival back at Teen Center around 9:00 PM.
- October 1: Deposit of $300 needed. There are only 20 guaranteed student spots for this trip, due to limited cabin space at Curry Village, and since we don’t know the gender breakdown yet. (NatureBridge may release more cabins later on.)
- Jan/Feb: Date TBD. Parent Meeting for Trip Participants. (Students may attend too!) 7:00-8:00 pm at the Teen Center.
- February 13: Final payment due so that all final payments can be made to NatureBridge. After that, the trip is non-refundable unless another student signs up.
- March 13: All medical paperwork due.
- Cabin arrangements (based on gender) are not confirmed until a final count is available. Each cabin holds no more than four students. We will have 6 student cabins to accommodate 20 students.
- This is an unplugged trip. Students are expected to refrain from any texting or internet use for the duration of the trip. Chaperones or OSA staff will secure phones, although some photography is permitted (we suggest a good old-fashioned camera). OSA and NatureBridge staff can be contacted in case of need.
- OSA staff will take PLENTY of pictures and share all of them with you.
- Excellent student behavior is expected (cooperation, safety, adherence to chaperone/educator directives).
- There is a limit to the number of chaperones we can bring, and priority goes to OSA staff and then OSA Board Members. We prefer not to have parents as chaperones, to ensure kids get a truly independent adventure. However, provided we have enough to warrant two groups, we might need a parent or two. Those wanting to chaperone are selected early by OSA staff, with consideration of their skill working with kids, needs of the whole group, and gender balance. They are committed to the entire group and able to participate in all activities (although chaperones do have some time off to explore on their own). Chaperones, preferably, are able to drive at least four students in fully insured, large, safe vehicles. Chains may be needed. Chaperones are not in the same trail group as their child. Although this is a working trip, chaperones get an experience of a lifetime as well! Chaperone cost is $550.
To hold your spot or for further questions, email Lori Peters.