2013 Exploration Week Choices:
How to be Canadian: Leaders: Kimberley Gorman & Mead Trick (Kim’s husband) Dates: Saturday, June 1st – Tuesday, June 4th
Certainly, one cannot expect to become Canadian in a short week, but given the overwhelming interest in my heritage, I am excited to impart what I know of my birthplace to willing participants. Our investigation of “all things Canadian” begins on Friday, May 31st, 2013, at a dinner designed to teach proper Canadian etiquette and dialect. We will practice using the word “sorry” and make final arrangements for our journey on the Victoria Clipper to Victoria, situated on the Canadian soil of Vancouver Island. After a good night’s sleep in your own bed, we will meet at the crack of dawn on Saturday to make our way to the ferry terminal in Seattle for our three-hour sail. In Victoria, we will engage in a number of Canadian rituals including slamming doughnuts from Tim Horton’s, Afternoon Tea, touring the Victoria Government Parliament Building and the Royal British Columbia Museum, frolicking in Butchart Gardens, and learning to curl at the Victoria Curling Club. Our community service project in Victoria will involve work with the First Nations. In preparation for our four-day/three-night trip abroad, we will watch Bob & Doug McKenzie, the CBC, and re-runs of the Canadian hockey team winning their gold medal in the 2010 Olympic Games. All participants must have valid passports, access to maple syrup, and a copy of Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace.
Portland Culinary Arts: Leaders: Jill Elliott, Laura Jones, and Caitlin Jones Dates: Sunday, June 2 – Thursday, June 6
Funny hats, food trucks, obsessive baristas, urban gardening, and bike lovers: Portland is practically a laboratory of all that’s hip and cool in North America right now. If you love food, cooking, and cool cities, this is the trip for you! Each morning, after a bounteous breakfast at our hostel, we will board a streetcar and head to the Portland Culinary Workshop. All three of us are passionate cooks, whether we are creating entrees, beautifully made salads, or delectable desserts. We care about what our food looks like, where it comes from, and the stories behind different dishes. In our culinary workshops we will take the following classes: Knife Techniques, Principles of Cooking, and, of course, Desserts. We will also visit a local organic farm to see how sustainable farming practices are put to work in this socially and environmentally conscious community. When we are not cooking, we will explore Portland’s cultural riches. During our elective planning time students will decide if we will have tea at the Portland Japanese Garden, spend some time reading at Powell’s Books, or take an afternoon to visit Portland’s contemporary art galleries.
We will travel by BoltBus to Portland. Our ‘home away from home’ will be the lovely Northwest Portland Hostel, which is a mere moment away from the world famous Voodoo Donuts!
Explore the Olympic Mountains on foot: Leaders: Mike Fosmark & Cindy Schacht Date – Wednesday, June 5 through Sunday, June 9
Some of us have visited the crystalline waters of Lake Crescent. Some of us have looked out from Hurricane Ridge at the majestic peaks of the Olympic Mountains range. But have you ever visited Sol Duc Hot Springs? Have you seen, or even smelled, a herd of seventy Roosevelt Elk? Have you walked the moss-covered trails of an old-growth forest?
If exploring the marvels in our own back yard interests you, then come join us as we take a tour of some of the highlights of the Olympic Peninsula on foot. We will hike along four different river systems, spend the nights in campgrounds and the backcountry, gaze from 5242-foot Hurricane Ridge, and maybe even spot a herd of the resident Roosevelt Elk.
As we prepare for our journey we will build skills related to backcountry cooking, map-reading, and fitting and packing a backpack. We will explore the origins and history of the Olympic Peninsula and of its native peoples as well as its European settlers. We’ll learn lots and see even more. You’ll breathe some of the cleanest air on the planet and walk in some of its most majestic scenery.
Oregon Adventures - Leader: Cami Holtmeier and George Gerdts (retired Hyla teacher) Dates: Monday, June 3rd through June 7th
Come explore the high desert area of north central Oregon, raft the Deschutes River, hunt for fossils, and learn some desert survival skills. The first two nights of our trip we will camp in the small town of Antelope in central Oregon and explore a ghost town nearby. We’ll take a day trip rafting the Deschutes River, which meanders through high desert cliffs and crashes over several sets of white water rapids. The rafting company will provide all the boating equipment, life vests, and lunch that day. No white water rafting experience is needed. For the last three days and two nights we will stay in cabins at the Hancock Field Station, run by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. There we will hike the high desert, and choose from activities such as survival skills in the desert or learning about fossils. While at the field station we will have running water, showers, a dining hall to eat in, and cabins with beds for sleeping. If you like being outdoors and want to explore land very different from Bainbridge Island, but may not want to camp every night, this trip will give you a great experience.
Leaders: Jennifer Haase and Pam Auxier, Certified Master Scuba Instructor from Exotic Aquatics (with additional scuba instructors depending on size of our group)
In 1992, my PE class in college was scuba diving. I received my Open Water Certification and was lucky enough to spend Spring Break diving in the Florida Keys. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It was indescribable. I haven’t done it since. Why? I don’t have an answer, but I do know that I want to dive again. I want to dive here, in the Northwest. Jacques Cousteau once said that the Puget Sound was one of his favorite temperate water dive locations. It is known for its abundance of unique sea creatures such as the amazing Giant Pacific Octopus, wolf eels, prehistoric sixgill sharks, soft corals, colorful sponges, and graceful anemones. In this Exploration Week, we will earn our SCUBA Divers certification through expert instruction from Exotic Aquatics. Students will participate in classroom dive instruction, two or three pool instruction sessions, marine life exploration (including a “Critter Dive”), team-building activities and general fun along with two open water dives. At the end of the week, students who complete all the requirements will have their PADI SCUBA DIVER’S Certification (certified to dive to 40 ft. with a guide). The instruction we will be getting is specifically geared toward middle school divers. This trip is perfect not only for those who have never been scuba diving, but also as a refresher course for those already certified (like me). All scuba equipment rentals are included. For more information visit www.exoticaquaticsscubadiving.com
*Note: Students will need to be able to pass a swim evaluation that involves swimming any stroke or combination of strokes for four round trips across the pool and tread water for 10 minutes (basically, you need to know how to swim, but don’t need to be a super strong swimmer).
SURFING - Leaders: Kris Van Gieson and Skyler Vella along with alumni Marina Heppenstal, Nash Reijnen, and Kira McGieson. Dates: Monday, June 3 to Friday, June 7.
We’ll be surfing at Hobuck Beach a few miles west of Neah Bay, Washington. The campground at Hobuck is right next to the beach with the ocean about fifty yards from our tents at high tide. Hobuck beach is a great place to learn to surf because it has a gently sloping sandy bottom. The beach is south-facing so the larger northwest swells are reduced in size as they wrap around the point. We will be living, camping, and surfing outdoors all week. There is running water for toilets and drinking water. We will also hold an optional (but very helpful) practice session in the pool. That gives us an opportunity to practice some of the basic skills away from the ocean waves. This helps speed up the learning process. No previous surfing experience is necessary to sign up for this trip but it is important to be a strong swimmer and to be willing to be dunked under by waves. There are some inherent risks in surfing. We will do our best to minimize those risks by teaching and emphasizing safe surfing practices and having watchful adults surfing with the students.
Surfing is physically demanding. It is challenging to push out through waves, turn, paddle, and get up on a surfboard. It also requires mental focus. Surfers have to read the ever-changing size and shape of waves as well as the location of other surfers. Since the watery terrain is constantly shifting, surfing teaches a relaxed and focused concentration and an ability to adapt to ever-changing conditions.
There are group learning opportunities as well. Simply living outside requires dealing with whatever nature provides. The challenge of being tired and hungry and needing to cook for the group emphasizes the importance of putting forth effort for the good of others. We also take time at the end of each day to share our successes, challenges, and appreciations for others .
Walla Walla, Washington: A Photographic Expedition - Leaders: Paul Carroll and Vicki Jenkins Dates: Monday, June 3rd – Friday, June 7th
Walla Walla is a town in the far southeastern corner of Washington, and it is a special place, very different from Bainbridge. It is close to the Blue Mountains, nestled in gorgeous farmland and typically has a feeling of wide-open space. Especially because it is so different, we are enthusiastic about getting middle schoolers to have a camera in their hands that operates as an invitation for them to really look at this new world around them. Each day, we will go to different situations or environments to take photographs. Sometimes that will involve some drive time in the cars. There are abandoned farms that inspire intriguing photographs, and we will definitely take some time to photograph nature and landscapes on hikes in the area. We will visit the Palouse Falls, which is an impressive waterfall, especially at this time of year, and is set in a wonderful canyon. We will also be photographing the wheat fields in the area, which, especially at sunset, are fantastic. Part of the fun of a small town is getting to know it, and we will be exploring the downtown area and the Whitman College campus through photography.
We will be in a rented house near the college, so we will be sleeping indoors and will have access to showers. Some meals we will cook, but we will also be enjoying the inexpensive and wonderful restaurants of Walla Walla.
So in a short form, this trip is about exploring Eastern Washington, and small towns, and fun outdoors, with cameras always in hand. You should definitely be interested in taking pictures if you sign up for this trip, because we will be spending lots of time taking and discussing photographs.
Horses, Dogs, and Wolves - Leaders: Melissa Dempsey, Lindsey Dempsey (Melissa’s daughter-in-law) Dates: Sunday, June 2 – Thursday, June 6
If you love loving animals you will enjoy this exploration week with a theme: RESCUE. We’ll spend a few hours each morning volunteering at the Horse Harbor Foundation, a non- profit sanctuary for abused, neglected, and abandoned horses in Poulsbo. The members of its resident herd of 25 to 30 horses are provided the finest possible care to insure that their last years are their very best. We’ll help care for them in many ways from grooming to rub downs. In terms of riding horses, we will be taking a trail ride in the Hoh rainforest on one day.
But where do dogs and wolves fit in? One afternoon we’ll spend time petting and exercising retired Greyhounds (former racers) and another afternoon we’ll visit a wolf sanctuary (either Wolftown or Wolf Haven), which cares for wolves that have been injured or have been retired from working in films.
The rest of our time will be filled with activities of our choosing, which we will plan together. Possibilities are many, but could include bowling, kayaking, hiking, board games, basketball, and watching the best horse, dog, and wolf movies. Our accommodations are first rate, five stars to be exact. Since Jill will be in Portland with Laura, her house in Poulsbo will be empty and she’s kind enough to let us sleep, cook, and shower there. We’ll be planning, budgeting, and cooking most of our own meals with one dinner at a restaurant of our choosing. What you need: For this trip you’ll need a camera that is not a phone. A photographer will be giving us tips on wildlife and nature photography.