Christian Outdoor Education – Class Description

  1. Nature Observation Class:
    Introduction to our Christian Outdoor Education Program! This class is designed to acclimate students to the outdoor environment, initiate the concept of Intelligent Design through presentation of the”William Paley Watchmaker Argument”, and focus attention on the unique aspects of each of our five senses. The students are led through exercises that enhance sensory effectiveness in wilderness settings.
  2. Team Challenge:
    A series of team building group initiatives at ground level, designed to provide students with the opportunity of experiencing the transition from working as an assembled group of individuals into a problem solving, supportive, creative, and coordinated “team”. Correct “spotting” techniques are reviewed and practiced. These activities have the benefit of providing “real-time” experience in working together as the “body of Christ”.
  3. Riparian Studies Class:
    The unique properties of water are introduced and its importance to all of life. After a description of the chemical composition of water students will conduct their own water surface tension test. Our Riparian Habitat is observed from several different vantage points as the various “cycles” of this ecosystem are observed and discussed. Students then divide into smaller research groups to perform 4 different chemical tests on water samples, and invertebrates and aquatic animals are collected and identified, as the students are introduced to the concept of Intelligent Design within an ecosystem.
  4. Bouldering Class
    Bouldering 1 shutterstock_3923698Beginning with an introduction in Rock Climbing knots and knot tying techniques, the students are then guided through a series of basic Rock Climbing skills while safely on a “pull-break, pinch-slide” belay. Climbing on established routes to the top of our 20′ granite boulder, the techniques of “smudging”, “laying back”, and “mantling”, are introduced and practiced; concluding with a short rappel back to the ground level. Strengthening of personal self confidence as well as learning to encourage, support, and help others are stressed in this activity.
  5. Ornithology Class:
    Students learn outside during Christian Outdoor EducationStudents will explore the Riparian Habitat that borders Brush Creek with its rich variety and diversity of bird life. Bird shelter, feeding, nesting, and species interaction are introduced and discussed. At the “Classroom-in-a-Box” students see the details of feather design, using our mounted bird collection, and learn about the nature of bird flight. Utilizing our private collection, students will investigate the differences between, and the complexity of, the design in bird’s nests. Concluding with a visit to our Bird Blind students will be able to observe and identify several different indigenous species in their natural environment.
  6. Climbing Wall Activity:
    While safely on “team belay” students face the challenge of climbing this 24′ vertical surface on man-made climbing holds. The concept of “climbing with your feet” is introduced as our trained instructors guide and encourage the students through this personal self confidence and team building exercise.
  7. Trees Class:
    Trees 1 shutterstock_145558600Following our trail bordering Rock Creek, and beyond, the students are introduced to the trees which are found in the Chaparral, Riparian, and Mixed-Coniferous Ecological Zones of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges. The parts of a tree, including the function of each, are identified and discussed as are the interrelationship with the other life forms of this habitat. Students will investigate large diameter tree rounds and take professional “core samples” to determine rates of growth and related environmental conditions present in the past, as the students are introduced to the concept of Intelligent Design in an ecosystem.
  8. Entomology Class:
    Entomology Christian Outdoor EducationPosters and models are used to illustrate insect identification. Several professional insect collections are on display and used for an introduction to insect, and insect order, identification and classification. Students revisit the concept of the Evidence of Intelligent Design within a specific life form and participate in collecting and mounting insects for their very own insect collection.
  9. Vertical Playpen Activity:
    077vppinkduoOur Christian Outdoor Education includes physical activities that focus on self-confidence and unity among peers. While safely on “team belay,” students face the challenge of climbing this 60′ vertical surface using man-made climbing holds. The concept of “climbing with your feet” is introduced and reinforced. Our trained instructors guide and encourage the students through this team building exercise.
  10. Archery Class:
    High Sierra Outdoor Institute Christian Outdoor Education Archery ActivityStudents are introduced to the bow and arrow, its history and proper use. Emphasis is on safety as students, and attending adults, are given the opportunity to test their skills on the Archery Range.
  11. Compass Orienteering Class:
    After an introduction to the proper use of the compass and location of basic coordinates, students proceed in teams of two to navigate their way around a course of multiple stations. Before, and after, the successful completion of this course, students are introduced to the topographical maps of the area and given a series of tasks to complete which will familiarize them with these navigational tools and symbols.
  12. Zip-Line Activity:
    While in a climbing harness and safely on belay students ascend 40′ to the Zip-Line Launch Platform mounted to one of our Ponderosa Pine Trees. Our Zip-Line Instructor assists each student in preparation for their launch beginning a 200 yard elevated “zip” through the forest canopy: an experience that no one will ever forget!
  13. Wilderness Rescue Class:
    Students are introduced to basic First Aid and Rescue techniques that are unique to the wilderness environment. all students will have the experience of practicing such activities as sling making and how to build a stretcher using only their clothing and tree branches. Skills related to helping and service to others are stressed in this class.
  14. Stalking and Tracking Class:
    100_0385Exploring a variety of trails along the perimeters of our Riparian Habitats, students are introduced to the basic skills and techniques of identifying, tracking, and stalking animals that are indigenous to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges. Diversity of animal life, various gaits, associated behaviors, and interaction are explained as animal prints are located, studied, and discussed.
  15. Herpetology Class:
    Christian outdoor education students see animals up close!In the Herpetology Center students will see several species of snakes, lizards, and amphibians indigenous to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges and Foothills. A wide variety of Herpetology facts will be explained and discussed using the actual species for illustration. Students will be allowed to handle the animals, to a limited degree, under strictly controlled conditions. The concept of the evidence of Intelligent Design within a specific life form is revisited and discussed.
  16. Nocturnal Excursion Class:
    Nocturnal 1 shutterstock_155572946Beginning after dark students are introduced to night vision and the structure of the human eye compared to various nocturnal animals indigenous to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges and Foothills. The terms “nocturnal”, “diurnal”, and “crepuscular” are introduced and defined. Various nocturnal animals including their habits and some of the unique aspects of their design are discussed and the “Bat and Moth” game is used to illustrate the role of the senses in night hunting. Using a powerful laser light constellations of the night sky are identified and the students are in techniques used to locate the North Star in the night sky. The term “bio-luminescence” is defined the term “tribo-luminescence” is introduced and illustrated through an exciting nighttime experiment that creates light through friction. The class is concluded with a closely supervised “solo walk” and a closing devotion centering on Christ as “…the light of the world.” Learning at night are among the most memorable experiences for Christian Outdoor Education students.