Upper Valley Christian School continues its long history of outdoor education for students at three different levels. The primary focus of outdoor education is to compliment student’s learning in the fields of science, geography, and history. These trips with hands on experiences compliment the book learning that occurs during the year.
At the third, fourth, and fifth grade level students camp over night at Grouse Creek in the Wenatchee National Forest. During their time at Grouse Creek, they learn about the forest, animal life, and camping/survival skills.
At the sixth, seventh and eighth grade levels, students take one of three trips on a rotating basis so that in three years a student would be able to make each trip. The first trip is to Whidbey Island where students explore life on Puget Sound. Day trips are made to tide pools, clam beds, and Deception Pass. The second trip is to the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park. Students take guided and self-guided tours through the Rain Forest, a lumber mill, new forests, and the ocean beaches. The first two trips are for two to three nights. The third trip is to Yellowstone National Park. This is a 10 day trip with historical and geological stops along the way. Students spend 6 days in Yellowstone exploring the park and taking guided tours. All three of the classes have a curriculum that has been developed over the years by UVCS staff.
At the High School level, two major trips are scheduled every other year. The first trip is to the Washington DC area. This is a 10 to 14 day trip that includes stops in Yorktown, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Gettysburg, Mt. Vernon, and the greater Washington DC area. The second trip takes in the Boston, New York, and Philadelphia areas. It also is a 10 to 14 day trip and covers much of the history of the area. Both trips require extensive research, planning and a daily log of activities for each student.
Starting in 2015, the high school students will be taking a trip on the Hiawatha Trail. This is an abandoned railroad grade that starts in Montana and travels for 15 miles into Idaho. Students ride down the railroad grade and learn the history of the area. Following the Route of the Hiawatha, students learn what it was like when railroads first came to the Pacific Northwest. This trip will occur during the years that a major trip is not scheduled.
Another trip that is in the planning stage at this time is a trip to Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Rainier. This trip would explore the sites plus learn and experience the 1980 eruption. This would be a two to three night trip and would also occur once every four years. This trip is tentatively scheduled for 2017.
Besides the above trips, UVCS often takes shorter day trips in North Central Washington and the Seattle, Olympia, and Spokane areas. Some of those trips have included the Seattle Science Center, Pike’s Street Market, the Seattle Zoo, the Capital, the Planetarium at SFCC, local museums and flight museums, plus Safeco Field and the Mariners.
Fund raisers help cover some of the costs of the longer trips. Some costs are usually accrued by students and parents. Parents and supporters of UVCS are welcome to join with us on any of these trips. Day trips are usually covered by tuition.