Intersession Highlights: Exploring the Outdoors

Outdoor IntersessionsThis year’s Intersession may be over, but the memories made during these amazing week-long courses will last a life time! Especially impactful? Our Intersessions which take Bay students out of the classroom and into nature. Check out just a few of the exciting outdoor offerings from this year’s Intersession catalog.

APParate Outdoors
Addicted to your phone? Can’t stop taking selfies? Channel your habit to have unexpected adventures while exploring San Francisco neighborhoods, parks, and beaches in exciting ways. Be ready for a fun week where your phone will lead you and your friends outdoors. For example:
• Love ice cream? Then design a scavenger hunt that leads people through a tour of your favorite spots to grab a cone. History buff? Then craft a challenge tracing historic landmarks and buildings.
• Did you know there are GeoCaches all over the globe? Join this international community working to explore hidden treasures in your own backyard.
• Ever wonder how scientists can possibly gather all the necessary data to track global environmental changes? Join the growing community of citizen scientists who add to the picture by collecting and uploading data with their phones.

Astrophotography: The Basics
Do you love the night sky? Do you love pretty pictures? The very best part about being an astronomer is taking pretty pictures and showing them off to your friends and family. In this intersession we will first trek up to an observatory to learn about both the night sky and about observing basics. After that we’ll come bay to Bay and learn how to use specific editing software to make our raw astronomical data into stunning pictures of things light-years away from home. You don’t need to know much about the night sky, CCD cameras, or editing software but you do need to be willing to stay up for a long Monday night and then have the determination and curiosity to make a polished final project.

Bay Area Day Hikes
Students will complete five day hikes around the San Francisco Bay Area (both easy and difficult): Point Reyes Area, Marin Headlands, East Bay, Half Moon Bay/Peninsula, Sutro Baths/Golden Gate Bridge ending in the Presidio. Students (upperclassmen) will co-plan and lead their peers on a range of hikes from the aforementioned regions. Leaders will learn how to organize and lead trips. All students will write about and photograph the range of natural settings they visit and compile a Bay Area Day Hikes field guide.

Cadillac Camping
You don’t have to lug a 50-pound pack up the side of a mountain to enjoy the great outdoors. This intersession will give students a chance to experience the outdoors and camping activities without the typical Spartanism of a backpacking trip, opening the experience up to students who don’t think of themselves as hardcore outdoors types. By taking vans directly to a campsite or cabin, we will be able to have “luxuries” such as table and chairs, meals made from perishable ingredients, iodine-free water and toys like Frisbees, squirt guns, footballs and tug-o-war ropes. This year’s destination will be spectacular Death Valley, where shorts are appropriate attire, since typical early April temperatures are in the upper 80s during the day and upper 50s at night.

Nature Camping with Friends
Have you ever just wanted to experience a classic camping experience? Living in the city, it is difficult to find time to truly connect with nature. Well, this is your chance! For a whole week, enjoy camping at the beautiful wildcat camp located in Point Reyes. During your time you will get a chance to connect with nature through hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery with your fellow peers. During this intersession we will be hiking, relaxing on the beach, experiencing amazing beach bonfires, and connecting with nature. Some say that actually experiencing nature is the only real way to understand it. This is your time to figure out if that’s true!

Summits and Sends
This intersession will involve a combination of hiking and rock climbing. For two of our five days, we will hike and summit a Water, Sun and Santa Cruz Fun Intersessioncouple of the Bay Area’s most prominent mountains, Mount Tamalpais and Mission Peak (or Mount Diablo), both of which offer spectacular views. We will spend the remaining days bouldering at Planet Granite and at Castle Rock State Park. For additional motivation to tackle those challenging problems and routes, the climbing days will begin with viewings of “Reel Rock” films five through eight.

Water, Sun and Santa Cruz Fun!
Ever want to get the full “Cali kid” experience? Escape the fog and classroom and explore all the aquatic adventures the Bay Area has to offer. In this intersession, discover beautiful scenery while paddle boarding, canoeing and hiking (to a lake)! Learn about sea animals and their home at the Aquarium of the Bay. We will also travel down to Santa Cruz to relax under the sun, play beach volleyball, and have fun on the boardwalk! In “Water, Sun and Santa Cruz fun!” you will surely discover your inner Cali kid!

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