4th-Graders Combat Foul Weather With Positive Attitudes on Recent Coast Trip

“There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing choices.” -Taylor Simmers / frequently used TEA quote

A recent 4th grade trip to the coast is a great example of why we do what we do here at TEA.Students were challenged by rain, car travel and homesickness…but they still rallied, found the positivity, and had quite a bit of fun. Along the way they examined examples of erosion at Stinson Beach, spoke to a ranger about the slow and fast changes happening at Point Reyes, learned about the history of the mission system in Sonoma, and made the most out of campsite living through both sunshine and quite a bit of rain.

Enjoy this trip report and photo gallery from Maude Meeker, 4th-Grade Crew Leader

“There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing choices.” -Taylor Simmers / frequently used TEA quote

When I said this to my car group as we all piled in Wednesday morning, (somewhat) soaking wet, one of the students chimed in to add on, “and bad attitudes!” This trip, multiple times, reminded me of the why behind fieldwork at TEA. Students were challenged, by rain, car travel, homesickness…and they still rallied, found the positivity, and had quite a bit of fun along the way. It is amazing to experience these learning and growth opportunities with them, and I am so very proud of them all!

On Tuesday, we set off from school and slowly made our way over to the coast. In typical TEA fashion, the recent coastal storm impacts lead to some pivots – we were unable to visit Muir Woods, but did get to have a great time at Stinson Beach, where we found lots of examples of weathering and erosion. When we arrived at camp, students showed off their perseverance and collaboration by getting right to setting up their tents and getting settled before dinner. After some tacos and a bedtime story, students settled in for the evening.

The next morning, our anticipated rain arrived, and we got a little wet at breakfast! Pancakes helped to raise everyone’s spirits, and students were very excited to explore indoors at the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes. We met with Ranger Anela, who talked to us about the slow and fast Earth changes that Point Reyes has experienced in the past/experiences regularly, and let us explore some interesting maps. Students also got to participate in a fun scavenger hunt as they explored all the displays!

Then, it was back in the cars and off to Sonoma. Students had a fantastic tour at the mission, where they learned about the history of the mission system, and what life was like at the missions. They even got to try out lassoing a “steer” (a highlight for many at our closing circle that night)! We had a great play break at the playground nearby, and then returned to camp for some work on our field study packets and dinner. The class was very happy to see that it was not raining when we returned! We closed out our day with roses, buds, and thorns, and another read aloud.

Thursday morning was another demonstration of perseverance and collaboration by the crew. Students worked together to efficiently pack up camp and get on the road – and were rewarded for their efforts with a bite of breakfast pie as we celebrated Connor’s birthday together! On our way, we visited San Rafael Arcangel, where students were incredibly responsible and respectful, as we were visiting during open adoration.

Then, one stop for lunch, several bathroom breaks, and one (long) car ride later, we were back home! Thank you all, so much, for your flexibility as we worked to make our trip happen, despite weather and a delayed launch! We had some pretty fantastic learning experiences, as well as a lot of fun, and perseverance!