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Yosemite Institute Van Nuys Middle School April 1-6, 2012 What Is Yosemite National Park? • Yosemite National Park is one of the country’s first national parks (1890), located in the eastern central part of California, • It is about 1,200 square miles of scenic wild lands • It is known for its Giant Sequoias, glacially carved Yosemite Valley with impressive waterfalls, sheer cliffs, and unusual rock formations. A Six Hour Drive Yosemite is here! We are here! What Is Yosemite Institute? • Yosemite Institute is a campus of NatureBridge, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational adventures for youth. • It is a field science program that connects students with what they learn in the classroom with what they experience in the outdoors. • 13,000 people will participate in Yosemite Institute's residential Field Science program this year! You might be one of them! Why Yosemite Institute Is Important • This is an extended field trip that relates to concepts students learn in school: science, history, and the arts • It helps students develop a positive learning community through interactive activities • It introduces students to an important national park, and challenges students to learn about themselves. Who are the Yosemite Institute staff? • Yosemite Institute has 35 full- time Field Educators. All are experienced teachers and leaders of groups in outdoor settings. They bring great diversity of experience, a passion for teaching, and lot of fun and energy to our program. • Yosemite Institute staff are talented, dynamic and diverse in their outdoor, educational and personal pursuits. Many travel the world to experience other cultures and wild places, climb some of the world's most challenging rock faces, and explore trails in the high Sierra. What Will Students Do? • Students, along with their teachers and a highly skilled Yosemite Institute educator, will spend one week doing the following: --hiking through Yosemite --participating in team building activities --challenging themselves to reach the tops of waterfalls. --And so much more! Where Will I Stay in the Park? •The one week program operates mainly out of Yosemite Valley's Boystown facility •Boystown is located in the main section of Yosemite Valley known as Curry Village. Boystown • Students will stay in cabins (girls with girls and boys with boys). • There are two single beds and one double bed in each room. Each bed will have pillows, but you should bring your own sleeping bag! • There is a shower/ bathhouse for both girls and boys--a short distance from all of the cabins! • Breakfast and dinner will be eaten at the Curry Dining Pavilion (main section of Yosemite). What Will I Be Doing Each Day? • All classes will take place outside on the trail. You will be asked to participate fully in a number of activities, challenges, explorations and assignments—very fun! • Students will be in the field hiking each day from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Activities are linked by a theme or concept and they relate to the overall themes of Yosemite Institute’s Core Educational Framework. What Are Some of the Activities We Might Be Participating in While Out in the Field? • Exploring the habitats of different plants and wildlife • Learn about the cultural history of early park pioneers and Miwok Indians • Sketching and writing about field experiences • Do a service project that benefits the park's resources, • Work with classmates to solve group challenges. • Activities each day vary with student needs, the teaching strength of the instructor, and the weather What Happens In the Evenings? • Yosemite Institute provides a 45-60 minute program each evening. At these programs you may learn about a wide variety of topics, including: bears, climate change, history of Yosemite valley, or endangered species. • You may go on a hike on which you discover the world of the night, debate important park issues, or interact with other groups through games! Evening Programs Continued Campfires are usually held on the last night of the program. These are often the favorite of all evening programs. You might get to participate in skits about your week at Yosemite Institute, sing songs, tell and listen to stories, play games, and eat S’mores! Program Safety • Yosemite institute is proud of our excellent 30+ year safety record and continue to maintain one of the safest, most successful environmental education programs in the country. • Yosemite Institute relies on conservative safety policies and guidelines, combined with the experience and sound judgment of staff to effectively manage the safety of our students. How Do I Prepare for a Yosemite Institute Program? As a student, how should I prepare both mentally and physically for my trip? • Have a goodto learn! and willingness attitude • Be prepared for an experience that involves hands-on exploration and learning, group discussions, challenges and games, journal writing, active participation in all activities. • Be in good physical shape so hiking is all the more enjoyable. We will hike 5 miles each day over moderate terrain, at elevations of 4,000 to 7,000 feet. • Plan on breaking in new hiking boots long before you arrive! Steps In Getting VNMS to Yosemite • Registration for a total of 20 students by Wednesday, September 14, 2011 (forms filled out) • Three to four chaperones • A booking deposit of 25% by Tuesday, October 11, 2011 • Apply for a group scholarship after 25% deposit is made (we may get up to 50%!) • Students attend weekly meetings • Fundraising • Hiking with VNMS Yosemite Institute students • Getting clothing and equipment • Make final payment to STEPS for Yosemite Institute Adventure Awaits! Costs • $465 per student • $116.25 from each student by October 11, 2011 (A 25% deposit is required to guarantee our spot for Yosemite Institute) • Equipment and supplies, which can be purchased at places such as Big 5, Sports Authority, Army Surplus, Salvation Army, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Chalet, or REI Scholarships • Scholarships from Yosemite Institute will be made available according to financial need, the group’s commitment to program preparation, community stewardship and fundraising • Awards are not actual cash gifts. They will appear as a credit on the final invoice. • As a guideline, the maximum award per individual will not exceed 50% the published tuition for Yosemite Institute. • STEPS will also be providing financial support Fundraising Suggestions • Back-to-School Nite • Recycling cans and bottles • Birthdays and holidays • Donations and fundraisers from local businesses and school staff • A-thons • Yard sales • Etc… • Any parent interested in helping with fundraising, please see Ms. Morales! Quick Review • Dates: Sunday, April 1, 2012 to Friday, April 6, 2012 • Deadline Registration for a total of 20 students by Wednesday, September 14, 2011 (forms filled out) • Total Cost $465 • 25% deposit of $116.25 due Tuesday, October 11, 2011 • Not being able to afford this trip is not a reason for not going! THE END!
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