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. (The pictures above are from our 2018 adventure to Yosemite, where we stayed 1/2 the time at Crane Flat Campground.) 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.
As this is an overnight trip, NatureBridge requires that:
- All participants (students, school staff, chaperones and visitors to program) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- Fully vaccinated is defined as more than 14 days have passed since the second shot of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines was administered or 14 days after a single Johnson & Johnson shot has been administered.
- Proof of vaccination is required in the form of a valid vaccination card shown to school officials and photocopied for NB administration.
- All participants must have negative COVID test result within 72 hours of arrival
- A NAAT (PCR) test must be conducted within 72 hours before arrival
- Antigen tests (rapid tests) are also acceptable and must be conducted within 24 hours of arrival
- Results of the tests must be available prior to entry into the NatureBridge program
- Masks will be required for vaccinated participants while participating in any indoor programs and under certain circumstances outdoors. Depending on public health recommendations, this requirement may change (minimize).
- Moderate quarantine is recommended for all participants for tens days prior to camp arrival. It is recommended that attendees not travel out of their area, attend large gatherings, or visit with unvaccinated friends or family members. Should a participant test positive prior to arrival, full refund is not guaranteed.
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 the Crane Flat Campground, which is near Tuolumne Meadows and the giant sequoias and, at 6,200 ft. elevation, it is more likely than the valley floor to have snow. Due to limited numbers allowed, it appears that our OSA group will have this location to ourselves! Students will sleep in heated cabins, with their chaperones. They will enjoy delicious food, day programs with an experienced NatureBridge educator, and fun 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. 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* $800: includes transportation, comfy accommodations, all meals and snacks (including meals en route), all activities, and a contribution toward OSA teacher-chaperone costs, which is significant.
- Monday, April 11: Meet at the Teen Center early (6:30 AM) for a 7:00 AM departure, with our caravan driving to Yosemite. Arrival at Crane Flat by 3:00. We will stop for lunch en route.
- 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, 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 15: Breakfast, morning activities, then lunch, and depart in chaperone vehicles. Stop for a meal en route. Arrival back at Teen Center around 9:00 PM.
- October 15: Deposit of $300 needed. There are only 18 guaranteed student spots for this trip, although we have learned that since we have Crane Flat to ourselves, there is some wiggle room in numbers.
- Jan/Feb: Date TBD. Parent Meeting for Trip Participants. (Students may attend too!) 7:00-8:00 pm at the Teen Center or another location.
- February 11: 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 11: All medical paperwork due.
- Cabin arrangements: We have four large dorms with bunk-style sleeping to choose from depending on our numbers. It is likely that all boys will be in one cabin with their male chaperones, and all girls will be in another with at least two female chaperones.
- 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).
- Excellent parent communication is expected prior to (and during, if needed) the trip. There is much to plan and communicate in the months and weeks leading up to our departure. Parents need to support our chaperones and respect our decision-making. They also must recognize that conflicts, growth, and discomfort are all part of such a trip. The safety of all depends on our ability to focus on all.
- There is a limit to the number of chaperones we can bring, and priority goes to OSA staff and then OSA Board Members. Most of our chaperones on this trip have been NatureBridge chaperones multiple times and know the drill.
- We prefer not to have parents as chaperones, to ensure kids get a truly independent adventure. As capable and awesome as parents can be as chaperones, it is a different experience for the students to have a parent there. If a student’s health or specific need is benefitted or made possible by the attendance of their parent as chaperone (e.g. medical issue, disability) then it will be considered. If we get in a bind and need an extra chaperone/driver, the priority will go to a dad who has camping experience and a daughter (thus, not sharing a cabin with his child), as we will have more male participants and enough female chaperones.
- However…if we don’t have enough chaperone drivers, we will ask parents with LARGE, SAFE, FULLY-INSURED vehicles to drive one or both legs of the trip; they will be fed and put up for a night at a hotel (in Oakhurst) for each leg of the trip. If you would like to volunteer to drive, if needed, please let us know.
To hold your child’s spot or for further questions, email Lori Peters.