Stories from the Field

We're Back!

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Kids look at their reflection in a lake at NatureBridge's Yosemite campus

Students are back on our Yosemite, Olympic and Golden Gate campuses! Hiking boots are hitting the trails, canoes are gliding into the water and our staff and students are having a blast out in our national park classrooms. Read on for a few highlights from our campuses. 

Olympic National Park

In the quiet weeks before students arrive on campus, NatureBridge educators eagerly prepare for their arrival. It’s during these anticipatory times that we partake in long-standing traditions that usher us into a new season. In the video above, Olympic educators carry our beloved canoe from its storage space down into the water. The moment carries a sentiment that’s not easily put into words. Not long after this video was taken, students arrived on campus, diving head first into hands-on science, outdoor exploration, water sample collection and physical challenges. 

“The canoes require communication, collaboration and effort in order to glide around the lake! To me, the canoes represent that we have a shared space that encourages mutual learning, thriving and cooperation.”
Eloise Peabbles, NatureBridge Educator

Yosemite National Park

At the end of each program week, educators and students gather together to reflect on their time spent in the park. During one of these reflections a student shared these inspirational words: "We're just tiny organisms in this giant place. Usually, humans feel like they rule the wilderness. But here, I was reminded that the wilderness rules us." Another student shared that their goal was to get out of their comfort zone, adding “ Every time you do something outside of your comfort zone, your comfort zone gets bigger.” 

“Every time you do something outside of your comfort zone, your comfort zone gets bigger." 
NatureBridge Student, Yosemite 

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

In addition to the joy of kids returning to programs, educators and staff at our Golden Gate campus are also celebrating the completion of a mural that is many years in the making. It was started by the late Ingrid Apter, a NatureBridge educator who passed away in 2021. A professional muralist took over and saw the project to completion. On the day of the mural’s dedication and unveiling, students, educators and staff gathered around excitedly and looked up to see a red tail hawk above them circling the celebration. Anyone who knew Ingrid and her deep love of animals and the outdoors would find it hard not to take that as a good sign.  Upon seeing the completed mural Golden Gate Campus Director Casen Splain shared "I'm not sure what I expected, but this blows it out of the water! It's really amazing!"

Prince William Forest

We are looking forward to welcoming kids back to Prince William Forest in April 2022. 

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