Camp Ocean Pines: Experiential Learning

After a long winter’s rest from outdoor education opportunities, the 6th Grade enjoyed a trip to beautiful Cambria at Camp Ocean Pines on the central coast from Sunday morning to Wednesday afternoon.

Although they enjoyed a day filled with inspiring team-building and co-curricular learning in August, this was the first time the Class of 2028 had the opportunity to venture outside of Sierra Canyon to experience all that an overnight trip has to offer since their 4th Grade trip to Solvang.

As they pulled up in their buses on the first day, students were met with the stunning panorama of the open Cambrian fields and woodlands that slope down to meet the Pacific below the camp. Most group activities and recreation time took place in full view of the coastline that stretched in either direction to the north and south horizons.

It was appropriate that this trip followed Earth Day as a great emphasis was placed on learning about and preserving our environment. Students were able to hold different types of reptiles, dissect squids and write their names with their cephalopod’s pen and ink, learn about animal adaptation, et al., recognizing the importance of biodiversity and appreciating the significance of preserving our world and all of its living things. It was an affirmation of the zeal of youth to see the genuine glee with which our students manifested all manner of discovery, from investigating sea critters at the tide pool to examining the differently evolved skulls of local animals.

In addition, there was an emphasis on team-building and paired or group coordination. In kayaks, students had to negotiate the elements in tandem boats. Given a set of parameters, students needed to adapt quickly to field games that demanded their communication and cooperation. More traditional activities like archery and even (safe!) axe hurling were also included.

The challenges of group living were met with spirited cooperation and organization. On trips like these, it is imperative that activity, hiking, or cabin groups collaborate effectively towards targeted goals. Students quickly understood the necessity and value of working together to benefit the group and each individual, adapting to camp life and rules with enthusiasm and purpose.

The trip ended with a campfire, s’mores, and a reflection and appreciation exercise, rose-bud-and-thorn, where hiking groups expressed what they found most gratifying, most interesting and growth-oriented, and most challenging about the trip. It was clear from their responses that the experience had been rewarding with a myriad of memorable moments to cap their last few weeks in Grade 6 on our Lower Campus.
Lower School: 11052 Independence Avenue
Middle and Upper School: 20801 Rinaldi Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311  | 818.882.8121
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.