At OVS, we continue to get our students outdoors in small groups for hiking, climbing, kayaking, equestrian trail riding and surf trips. Being outdoors, exercising and connecting with peers are among the healthiest activities for young people during the pandemic.
This week, nine juniors set out with Outdoor Education Coordinator Zach Byars on an adventure to find the Upper Matilija Falls. Characterized by stunning rock formations that inspired conversations about geology, erosion and plate tectonics, the region is also known as sacred to the local Chumash tribe.
Though the lower reaches of Matilija Creek ran low, the group found ample water further up. “The upper reaches of the canyon destination were spectacular, and the flowing water in the cascades was stunning,” said Mr. Byars.
Wind and occasional snow flurries made for a brisk adventure totaling just under 11 miles round trip. Following successful trips from the fall, student groups of 6-10 have resumed local adventures. Last Friday, 10 sophomores went to Solimar for a beach clean-up and surf session. Last weekend, a group of 8th graders kayaked at Ventura Harbor following a land-based class on paddling techniques. Trip highlights included playing beach volleyball, jumping off boats and paddling out to the harbor entrance. They also learned about harbor design, land use, coastal erosion, and conservation of wetlands.
Outdoor learning experiences are core to the OVS philosophy and the benefits of those experiences are arguably more important now than ever. We want students to get outside, develop an understanding of and appreciation for our environment. Outdoor pursuits also build confidence and help students develop strong communication and collaboration skills.