OLYMPIA NATIONAL PARK ECO EDUCATIONAL ADVENTURE & TIKUN OLAM
Pacific Northwest US - Washington
5 - 10
"If you teach about animals and plants, teach also conservation and reverence for life. Good citizenship and love of nature will have much to do with what we leave to succeeding generations."
Eugene Kozloff Life Along the Seashore
Our eco-program is located in the pristine Olympic National Park, giving students immediate access to trails, waterways, old growth forests, glacial lakes, wild coastlines, and the Olympic Mountains. The mission of our eco-adventure is to provide educational adventures in nature's classroom that inspire a personal connection to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. We are committed to creating an educational environment that engages students in active learning and directly complements classroom curriculum. Programs are, hands-on and interdisciplinary in nature and seek to cultivate enthusiasm for lifelong learning.
To accomplish these goals, Instructors lead a variety of field- and laboratory-based activities, hikes, and team-building challenges. We provide participants with opportunities to observe and describe features of the natural world while building community and a sense of citizenship. Students are presented with multiple perspectives and encouraged to develop their own conclusions about their role in stewardship (Tikun Olam) of the natural world.
Three core program themes build upon each other in a progression to for the core educational framework:
Developing a Sense of Place: Climate, landforms, flora, and fauna are all attributes of place as are human uses and responses to a particular locale. Our campus is listed on the National Historic Register and is located in Olympic National Park, which is also a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. Students explore this fascinating area and draw comparisons with their own unique communities.
Understanding Interconnections: Students learn how physical and cultural aspects of place are inter-related as they tie what they discover about local natural history to general principles of ecology. Understanding the interconnections among biotic and abiotic systems (on a variety of scales) is foundational to comprehending one's own relationship with the natural environment.
Fostering Stewardship & Tikun Olam
"When you try to pick out anything by itself, you find it hitched to everything else in the universe.".............. John Muir
As students develop this sense of place and learn how natural systems function and interconnect, the next question that arises is how people fit into the picture. Students build a knowledgeable perspective from which they can make informed decisions about stewardship of resources by examining some of the ways in which human civilizations have relied upon the natural world though time.
*Optional Judaism & Nature Educational Component – can accompany the general field studies program. Please call us for details.
Sample 10-Day Itinerary: Programs are available from 5 to 10 days
Day 1-4: The arrival day includes an evening program designed to orient the students to their new surroundings and to encourage them to relax and fully engage with our program. The first full two days are dedicated to the establishment of a sense of place in the students, providing time for individual trail groups to start the process of bonding and cohesion, and provide a group-building challenge for the groups to overcome. Specific activities will be geared towards Northwest natural history, human history, and group dynamics. Additionally, students will be provided with the opportunity to challenge themselves with paddling our 34 foot Montreal canoes and hiking Mt. Storm King.
Days 5-6: Students will be actively involved in projects designed to explore interconnections and facilitate stewardship (Tikun Olam) with their surroundings. Olympic National Park, Dungeness Audubon Center and the Sequim Raptor Center all provide opportunities for diverse and meaningful ways to care for the landscapes and creatures of this region. Specific projects will be arranged, but these experiences will undoubtedly provide fuel for discussions on the role of stewardship in the lives of students.
Day 7-8: Field School students will travel off-site for an expedition to one of the Olympic Peninsula's campgrounds where the students will learn camping techniques as well as spend some of the afternoon exploring a new and unique habitat. That night they will have their closing campfire and celebration, as well as prepare for their final stewardship project the next day.
Day 9-10: The final days of the program, will find the students breaking down their camp in the morning and then heading out for a final stewardship project. Students may be involved in a beach clean-up on Washington's open coast, a trail rehabilitation project in the high country of the Olympics, or a water-quality monitoring project on the Dungeness River. This project will be followed by a final closing, allowing the students to start the process of internally analyzing and understanding the full impact of their experiences on the Olympic Peninsula.
Our Instructors: The teacher and guide for your program will be qualified Field Instructors. Field Instructors all carry a degree in field science or education, or have significant experience in those fields. They also are trained as Wilderness First Responders, which not only provides them with a high level of technical first aid skill but also encourages the development of highly effective risk management practices. Each instructor also has been trained in Olympic natural history and human history.
Custom group departures (minimum 18 or more participants) are available upon request. Please call us for details.
Participants will develop skills in:
Teamwork and group decision-making
Participants will experience:
Natural history lessons
Physical challenges associated with day hiking
Beautiful sunsets, mountains, rivers and lakes
An opportunity for self-discovery
Participants will study:
Plant and animal communities Cultural and human history
Geology and ecology
Land use and wilderness issues
Custom departures are available upon request. Please call us for details and pricing.
Our lodgings are in modern cabins in a retreat /camp style setting. Facilities are in at a comfortable and beautiful lake side setting.