The intermediate teachers held an informational meeting for families after school on Thursday to discuss the field study we have planned in May. Here are the notes from the meeting for those of you that were not able to attend:
Permission slips need to be returned on Monday, April 21st. We need to have an accurate count of kids and adults so that we can organize buses, food, and sleeping arrangements. (Thank you to all of those who have already returned them, and a special thank you to those who have sent in money to help with expenses!)
The decision to have your child attend the field study is a family matter. Please do let me know if your child will not be going, however, or if you need further information before deciding.
Where are we traveling/what will we see and do?
Travel through Yakima to Vantage. Check out some spots along the Columbia River and then head to Dry Falls. Restroom breaks at Memaloose and another park along the way. Lunch at Wannapan Rec Site. We will also be stopping at Gingko Petrified Forest. Nick Zentner, a professor of geology from Central Washington, will give a presentation about what kids will see on the trip. He has a bunch of 2 min geology videos that the students will be watching prior to the trip. It would be great for chaperones to watch the videos before the trip to get some background information of what we will be seeing. Then we will check out Frenchman Coulee with a brief hike.
Continue on the bus and pull off at view point to observe the West Bar Ripples. Drive to Dry Falls State Park. Will see huge erratic boulders. The state park is about 30 miles south of the Grand Coulee Dam. When flowing, Dry Falls was 3 and a half times the size of Niagara Falls. We will be staying at the Delany Environmental Learning Center (ELC). This location has a fully stocked kitchen, volleyball court, bonfire pit, huge area to camp in.
Wednesday we will check out the Lake Lenore Caves. It is about a 10 min bus ride. Also checking out the visitor center at Dry Falls. There is a movie and exhibit on the floods. Then we take a tour of the Grand Coulee Dam. Students and chaperones must wear close toed shoes and long pants to go on the dam tour. In addition chaperones must have government issued id. If a chaperone is not an American citizen, they will need to fill out some paperwork before we go because they must be preapproved. No pants, no tour.
On the way home on Thursday, we will take a different route so we can see the Wallula Gap. It is where the water got backed up during the floods. Then into the Columbia River Gorge on the way home.
Recommended books if you want more background knowledge.
- Catacylsms on the Columbia by Scott Burns, Marjorie Burns, and John Eliot Alan
- Bretz’s Flood by John Soennichesn
- On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods by Bruce Bjornstad
Essential Medical news from health assistant:
Any medication that is taken at school will remain the same.
- If you have medicine that needs to be given at night, in the morning, or as needed, the paperwork needs to be filled out and returned to Mrs. Baker by May 7th.
All medication must come in original container.
Any concerns about allergies or medication, please let Mrs. Baker know.
If parent is traveling with us, they may administer medication to their child.
There will be signs for rattle snakes everywhere. There should not be too many out in May, but we will have rattle snake kits with us. Park Ranger will give a talk about respecting nature and a warning about rattle snakes.
There will be 2 teachers on each bus.
We would like to have an idea how many people will be on the bus and carpooling together.
The RV’s make life much easier because they can carry so many supplies.
Each group’s stuff will travel together.
Some drivers will be asked to leave early to get back to camp and begin meal preparation.
Parents can decide if they want to go early to be the advance kitchen crew, help later in the kitchen, or do activities to help with child supervision.
Kids bring sack lunch and snack for the first day. After that, all of the meals are on us. The snacks will be in the Trader Joe zip bags. First dinner is burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips, and ice cream. Breakfast will be pancakes and sausage. The school has good deal on sausages and pancakes are easy to do. Will also provide juice. Lunches will be a make your own sandwich bar. Turkey, ham, possible peanut butter and jelly if no allergy. Chips and fruit snacks. Water is the drink of choice. Juice at dinners sometimes, but mainly water. The second dinner will be a taco bar. Gives kids options. Dessert that night is smores over the campfire. We may need to get firewood. Will probably need to buy it there.
8 cabins that sleep 9 people. 1 adult has to be in each cabin. They have big mattress pads. All bathrooms are in a different building. Kids may sleep in tents or parents’ RVs. There is a resort nearby – it is okay if you take your child to the resort to stay with you. Will need lots of tents. If you have one you are willing to lend, make sure your name is on the tent. You do not have to sleep in the tent if you bring one. We need to know exact numbers ASAP so we can figure out sleeping situation. Tent area is on a big flat ground. If you know you want to go, but don’t know about travel arrangements, please let us know you are coming so we can get a count. We will try to give kids 1st choice of where they want to sleep. We will be very strict on getting to bed at bedtime. No coed sleeping. Possible idea of asking kids who want to go to bed early and matching them with parents who are the same.
Need parents to help with trip prep. Two lists, shopping prep and helping at school the day before the trip. There are many ways to help if you can’t join on the trip. Boxes of apples were great on the previous trip but they are expensive. If anyone has a connection to apples it would be very helpful as a snack
Keeping Track of Kids
All kids will ride the buses. No last minute deciding to ride with parents. At the park, kids will not be roaming around anywhere they want during activity time. Instead, there will be chunks of time set out and a student will need to be in one place during that whole time. There will be adults at each of the places a student may choose to go to. If you don’t want your kid in a canoe you can let us know. There will be buddies, check-in times, and multiple lists to keep track of all of the kids.
We will start contacting chaperones soon. Sign up before you leave for one of the jobs. We want to put you where you are comfortable. Whether it is in cafeteria, organizing a game with kids, or cleaning. We need to know where chaperones plan to sleep. Each activity should have the same parent leading it the whole week. It would be nice to have a pair of parents whenever you are with a group of kids.
There are showers. Not a lot, but if your student really wants a shower they can have only one. If they don’t want to they can use a wash cloth and make sure to change underwear and socks each day. There is a smaller cabin that will house Mrs. Hanes, Mrs. Hayden, and a few others. This place has a shower. We are hoping to have adults use this shower.
Let us know if you have a child who is nervous about being away from home and you believe that being with a specific chaperone or child will help the student feel more comfortable.
Are there plenty of gas stations on the way?
Yes. It is good to know that the trip is 700 miles. Only 200 more than the 1st trip.
What city do I search for weather updates?
Sun Lakes Dry Falls State Park
Protocol for paying for gas?
If you are traveling together, it is best to decide how the fuel cost will be shared.
What to bring?
Must have 1 pair of long pants (this is required for the dam tour)
shirts of different layers – long sleeves, short sleeves
Good walking shoes, boots not required. No flip flops.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, bandanna or washcloth
LABEL EVERYTHING YOUR CHILD BRINGS!!!
What NOT to bring?
Electronics – This keeps valuables safe and keeps the focus of the trip on the nature we are traveling to see.
Cameras – See above. Also, there will be plenty of adults taking pictures.
When will we return?
Hoping to get back around 4:30 to 5:00. This is because we will want to avoid the end of day traffic.
Every child can go on the trip whether they pay or not. We are asking for $40. If you can’t pay $40, just pay what you feel you can manage. If you are joining us, do not worry about paying for yourself.