Thousand Pines Outdoor Science School has closed for the remainder of this school year as part of the bigger effort to flatten the curve. Safety is our priority, for our guests and our staff team. During this closure we've donated medical supplies that would normally be for our guests to our local hospital and our kitchen is using the remaining food to bake bread for our local community.
We know that schooling for most of you has moved online, and we want to help. Some of our team is still working on resources for schools, teachers, students, and families to use for the rest of the school year and into summer. This includes science lessons to do at home, video "hikes" for instruction, and activities for a family to do together. If you want to make a request or a suggestion, please use our contact form.
We are also spending some time preparing for next school year: revising our curriculum and planning new activities. We're already taking applications and doing interviews for our positions here, which you can visit on our jobs page.
To our staff: we are so thankful for your hard work and the love and care you have shown to each other and to our guests.
To the teachers and students who attended this year (or any year): thank you for making each week enjoyable, memorable, and unique.
To the teachers and students who were unable to attend this year: we encourage you to find new ways to learn, grow, and experience the outdoors, safely of course. And who knows - maybe you'll end up working here some day. We can't wait to find out.
While we miss having students here, we are taking advantage of this time and discovering ways to adapt to our new surroundings without students present. There is much more wildlife action around camp and it's been fun watching and learning more about our furry residents. One of them is the ground squirrel. These brown squirrels differ from the typical tree-nesting Grey Squirrel because they live in burrows in the ground. Their burrows can be anywhere from 5ft to 40ft deep. When searching for food such as manzanita berries, grass seeds, acorns, and insects, they never stray too far from their front door. Burrows are key to keeping them safe: in most you'll find a creative tunnel system with nurseries, food storage, and escape routes.
In the quiet, we can hear them too: if they sense danger they'll stand up on their hind legs and shout with a high pitched, sharp alarm call. The biggest predator for the Ground Squirrel is the rattlesnake, and luckily they have a few different survival techniques. One amazing adaptation this squirrel has is heating its tail and waving it at the rattlesnake to confuse and intimidate the snake, since rattlesnakes can sense infrared.
We may not have any students here this week but that doesn't mean we can't still love what we do. We are working on different remote learning opportunities we can provide parents and schools who are missing their time here, and how we can connect with schools when they reopen. If you have any ideas or requests, just send us an email in our contact form.
We hope to have students attend provided that we and our attending schools are able to follow the guidelines given by the state and county. We are in consistent contact with schools about their trips here to participate in our programs, and will make sure that any official information that should go to parents and schools is sent in a timely and efficient way.
With the recent news and concerns about Coronavirus we'd like to share that Thousand Pines Outdoor Science School is still here! Student safety and well-being is our top priority here at camp. We already have sanitization procedures before and after each program in place and are increasing our attention to detail during and after program activities. Below you will see the steps we are taking to insure excellence and safety. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.