Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Sea Camp Recap

First a small disclaimer.  I brought my computer to have kids create summaries to be sent home and so I could also add a bit of color.  Unfortunately, the flight seems to have killed my computer.  Hey Kurt, I need a new laptop!  As a result I'm typing up the student work verbatim in the hotel lobby with a crew of  toddlers careening about which will probably, ouch that's my foot, diminish the amount I can write.  Man I'm glad I teach middle school.  I'm sorry.


Day One Summary by Dominic M.

Hello Parents!

Today was a great day!  After a long plane ride (made shorter by the fun and exciting math assignment that Mr. Framke gave us), my friends and I were already talking about the great day ahead of us.
The students had a blast cruising on the boogie boards at La Jolla Beach where some students demonstrated their amazing talent, and others were very motivated to learn not only the ways of the boogie board, but also about oceanography at La Jolla.  Later on the group was taken to the Birch Aquarium where the visited exhibits of exotic marine animals and participated in a scavenger hunt to learn more about aquatic life living on the beaches and all over the world.  Today I had not only a fun day enjoying the beauty of San Diego, but also spent time digging deeper and gaining a deeper understanding of what goes on in our oceans.  

OK, I may have added a sentence in there somewhere.

Day one, an adult perspective.

There is no greater way to kick off the work week then, with no caffeine what so ever, to meet 35 of your best 13 and 14 year old students friends at DIA at 6:00 in the morning for the highly anticipated 8th grade Sea Camp trip.  I could tell you about the most exciting and educational plane ride ever, but after Dominic's exceptional summary, I will just quote from him "a long plane ride (made shorter by the fun and exciting math assignment that Mr. Framke gave us)".  We were promptly met by the Sea Camp staff who whisked us away to our home away from home, Sea Camp base camp.  As we drove along the ishmes that connects Fiesta Island with the mainland we could see the peaked blue rooves of Sea Camp that erupted from the earth like the gables of a church. Once the surman of prerequisites was delivered about camp life, we packed for our quick journey to La Jolla Shores.

The picnic lunch consisted of sandwiches and cookies followed by an unsuccessful Slavens pyramid record attempt of five levels then wetsuit 101.  Gavin shyly volunteered to be the model of how to don a skin of neoprene (the zipper goes in the back), then it was off to see who could squeeze themselves into their wetsuits.  Despite the frequent warnings, a couple of students (not mentioning any names) seemed to try to get the wetsuits on backwards (zipper in the front).  After a round of chest bumps, it was into the Pacific doing the string ray shuffle.  The sea was angry today my friend, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli!  It was the biggest surf I have seen in La Jolla Shores in my nine years of boogie boarding under the Sea Camp Banner.  The kids did really well.  After today I can safely say the Ally Hericks his a spot on the pro boogie boarding circuit waiting for her whenever she would like it.  After taming the waves for an hour, campers got to explore the world in the kelp forest by examining the kelp that has washed ashore.  To the untrained eye, the kelp on the beach is an unsightly nuisance, but to those in the know, it is a treasure trove of marine life.  We saw tiny sea stars and shrimp (not to mention the occasional kelp fly) living in the kelp forest universe.  Little did anyone know that this was just the primer to the Birch Aquarium which provides a fishes eye perspective of a living kelp forests.

A short drive later we found ourselves at the Birch Aquarium where students learned about the ocean ecosystem through the already mentioned scavenger hunt.  The kelp tank really is stunning and is truly the centerpiece of the exhibits.  In addition to examining the marine life on display, Birch allows aspiring campers to test their broadcast news weather skills where Jack Perkins discovered his true calling.  After an hour with the aquarium fish and the breath taking views of La Jolla, we drove back to the church, had a stir fry dinner that couldn't be beat, Went to lab, and got to dissect fish and squid, when we got the call from the counselors to hit the sack.   That one was for Mr. K.  In the fish lab students are leaning about several fascinating fish that they rarely think of like the Hag fish that encase their rotting food on the bottom of the ocean with a thick mucus so as to keep the smell from other hunger scavengers.

OK, I've hit my limit.  I've gotta' go to bed.

Until tomorrow,


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