The Nevada Mining Association recently sponsored students from Kate Smith Elementary School to attend the Great Basin Outdoor School, a three day, two night camp where students learn about natural sciences through hands-on activities and exploring.
Kate Smith made it back from our overnight camping trip at Great Basin Outdoor School; we had an incredible time!
When we arrived, we were greeted by four naturalists who were to be our trail group leaders for the next three days. For our first activity, we created tree cookies with nature names and were referred to by our nature names for the rest of our journey. After doing some team building on the beach of Lake Tahoe, we jumped right in to learning about the water cycle. We built a model of the watershed of Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, and Pyramid Lake in the sand and presented the models to each other. We collaborated together and practiced different forms of communication other than verbal. We were introduced to different nature games to help us understand the concept of teamwork, collaboration, and winter ecology.
During the evening time, we went outside to explore the constellations, we were able to see Venus and Mars along with the beautiful nighttime sky. This was one of the many highlights of our trip.
On our second day, we were amazed by the beauty of Lake Tahoe and the amount of snow as we walked up to our snowshoe destination at Spooner Lake. All of the students had a first-time experience snowshoeing as none of them had ever been before. We met a professor from the University of Nevada, Reno who played the part of Dr. Church who invented a tool, called the Mount Rose Snow Stick, to measure snow pack in the Sierras. We followed him and took different samples of snow, measuring the depth and the weight of the snow pack on the mountain. We were exhausted after snowshoeing and headed back to camp for a review of winter ecology, a game of Jeopardy, and performed skits of the things we had learned throughout the day.
On our last morning at camp, we packed up, cleaned cabins, ate some breakfast, and participated in closing activities and had the chance to say goodbye to the lake and our naturalists. All of the students asked if they could return again! We can’t wait for our next adventure! Thank you Nevada Mining Association for helping make this possible!