Schools choose up to five of the following subjects (depending upon the length of their stay) for our Instructors to focus on during their hikes. We are not limited to the classes listed below. We urge schools to contact us if their students will benefit from a subject not on our list. We pride ourselves on our flexibility, and we will work to accommodate any requests. Your students will be provided with a safe, fun and hands-on learning environment and actually get to actually see and experience first-hand on our trails the things about which they are learning.

Aquatic Study

Birding

Environment

Water is the compound that makes all life possible. For Aquatic Study, our instructors focus on the importance that water plays in the lives of all organisms on our planet. Students will investigate our very own Smith Creek, searching for macroinvertabrates, to determine just how clean our creek is. Topics also may include: the many forms that water takes as it moves through the water cycle, the availability and sources of fresh water on our planet, the role water has in our daily lives, the source of water in Southern Californian communities and the importance of conservation

We are fortunate to have a diverse population of birds at CHOSS. Our feathered friends include water fowl, hummingbirds, raptors, even ostriches and peacocks. Each bird has many lessons to teach, and some things our instructors focus on include: the physical characteristics that distinguish birds from other members of the animal kingdom, physical and behavioral adaptations, drawing conclusions about a bird's habitat and niche based on physical characteristics, basic survival needs and the impact that humans have on their availability.

In our Environmental Action class we demonstrate the importance of "practicing what we preach." Our instructors lead students in conservation projects and discuss the importance of making responsible decisions. The effectiveness of this class is its relevance to the schools and to the students. When combined with our other environmental courses, Environmental Action provides the most effective teaching tool we offer: learning through doing. Some projects include: installing water bars, pedestrian walkways, or stairs to help control erosion and reduce human impact on our hills, participating in a watershed cleanup to eliminate pollution from Smith Creek

Working at our compost bin and in our garden to discover an alternative to throwing away our organic waste

Orienteering

An important part of going out and discovering the mysteries of the wild is being sure that you can find your way back. In this course, students are taught how to properly prepare for hikes and learn useful navigation skills. Our topics may include:

 

Learning to use a compass

Reading and identifying key features on contour maps

Creating trail maps

Responding to emergency situations

Plants

From the lush ferns of Smith Creek to the rough scrub oak of the chaparral, our plant population has a lot to teach. During our plant study, students get the opportunity to learn through observation. We focus less on the names of various plants and more on their functions, adaptations, and importance. Our topics include: Photosynthesis... what goes in and what comes out, the air cycle, the interdependence of plants and animals, functions of different plant parts, adaptations that plants use to survive, the importance plants play in our lives

Tracking

For thousands of years, human survival depended upon the ability to be an intelligent and efficient hunter. The advancement of weaponry and farming has reduced the necessity for efficient hunting, but the skills used in the past are still useful today. Our course looks at current and past uses of tracking, and includes the following: Investigating signs that animals leave behind

identifying types of consumers by inspecting the characteristics of scat, tracks, and other evidence, using "Process of Elimination" techniques to aid animal identification

Drawing conclusions about animal behavior based on evidence

Watershed

Our watershed class encompasses many different concepts that are all focused on our own watershed, Smith Creek. Our instructors focus on the impact the creek has on the watershed and the impact the watershed may have on the creek. Other topics include: Using contour maps to determine the boundaries of a watershed, the effect that precipitation has on erosion, the impact of humans on aquatic areas, finding a balance between utilizing a watershed and preserving it, the water cycle, its importance to life and protecting our water.

 Wildlife Ecology

Our wildlife ecology class focuses primarily on vertebrates and their role in the web of life. Lessons are geared towards animal habitats and niches and include the following topics: Energy transfer through food webs, the basic resources that animals need to survive, animal adaptations, factors that affect animal populations, competition and symbiosis.

Weather

Located between two large mountains and adjacent to the desert, CHOSS is subject to very unique weather patterns. During their stay, students get an opportunity to explore our weather by: using appropriate instruments (thermometer, barometer, etc.) to obtain meteorological data

Observing the effects the water cycle and landforms have on our weather, investigating the pressure that occurs at different elevations, observing and discussing the effects that humans have on the weather and determining responsible choices that reduce our impact.

 

SCIENCE CURRICULUM We have shaped our curriculum to meet the demands of the schools that attend our program.

Choose Your Curriculum

CONTACT HOME CURRICULUM PARENTS TEACHERS

Geology

We are fortunate to have a diverse population of birds at CHOSS. Our feathered friends include water fowl, hummingbirds, raptors, even ostriches and peacocks. Each bird has many lessons to teach, and some things our instructors focus on include:

Situated in a mountain building region that used to be the floor of an inland sea, CHOSS has a very diverse geologic representation. Our geology study focuses on determining how certain rocks and minerals were formed and drawing conclusions about the geologic history of the area. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Native Skills

A lot of answers to current questions can be found by looking to the past. To many Native American tribes, sustainability was a way of life. Our Native Skills class focuses on the tribe that once inhabited this area, the Cahuilla, and the skills they used to survive. Topics may include:

 

Fire making

Using native plants to make rope

Shelter building

Identifying and eating edible plants

Invertebrates

Oftentimes, our spineless friends get a bad reputation. They are viewed as disease-spreading, crop-eating, arm-biting, annoying pests. A closer look into their world tells quite a different story. Our invertebrates class focuses on the essential roles that these creatures play in our lives. We focus on:

 

Exploring invertebrate habitats and observing live creatures

The importance of invertebrates in food webs

The interdependence between these creatures and other members of the global community, including humans

ADVENTURE CURRICULUM At Camp Highland Outdoor Science School, we pride ourselves on the ability to help our students find the strength inside themselves.

Alpine Tower

Archery

Canoe

Bows and arrows have been used for centuries as a means of hunting and protection. At CHOSS, they are used as a mental and physical challenge for our students. Students learn about the importance that the bow and arrow have served to past cultures and their use today. At the archery range, our focus is on safety first and personal growth second. Students will find that success with a bow and arrow is measured by improvement, not by bulls-eyes.

At our canoe lagoon, students learn the importance of working together and working safely while navigating a canoe. After a discussion about the importance of canoeing to past and present generations, students are introduced to equipment and safety procedures that are essential to their success. In pairs, students load into their boats and put to use the paddling strokes that they have learned.

Climbing Wall

Low Ropes

Team Building

At CHOSS, students  learn that, even in climbing, the support of the people around you is intricate to your success. Whether it is the belayer who is responsible for each student's safety or the rest of the group that is responsible for encouraging and giving tips to the climber, the ability for students to reach their goals is very dependent upon their group.  As with all of our activities, in Climbing we believe in "Challenge by Choice." We understand that each student's goals, strengths, and fears are different.

If students show the ability to effectively communicate and cooperate as a group, they may find themselves with even larger challenges at our Low Ropes Course. Here students must not only come up with solutions that ensure the success of the group, they must also find solutions that ensure the safety of the group. Students spot one another as they get the opportunity to visit activities such as our Burma Bridge, Ships Crossing, Wild Woozy, or Nitro Pit.

Perhaps the greatest skill in life is the ability to deal effectively with people. Listening, caring, and support are all essentials in forming strong, meaningful relationships or just functional, working relationships.

One of the strongest aspects of CHOSS is our Teambuilding class. Students are presented with challenges that they must accomplish together in order to be successful. These challenges test the students' "people skills," and follow-up discussions focus on the importance these skills play at school, at play, and at home.

Through activities such as archery and climbing, students realize the potential they have to succeed when working in a positive and supportive environment. To facilitate such an environment, a visit to the ropes course or our team building course will do. Here, students realize the importance of communication and cooperation, and learn an even deeper lesson about working as a team: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Each attending school chooses up to four adventure classes (depending on the length of their stay). The classes they may choose from include:

Our Alpine Tower high course will test students' problem solving skills and require them to test their physical and mental talents to achieve success. Communication, trust, challenging oneself, and perseverance as well as encouraging your fellow students are just a few of the traits and personal skills which will be developed 50 feet above the ground.

EVENING CURRICULUM When the sun goes down at Camp Highland Outdoor Science School, it doesn't mean we slow down!

Astronomy

Campfire

In the dark of the night, we get a chance to observe our place in the universe. Using our eyes and our telescopes, we investigate the different bodies that light up the night sky. Students will discuss the differences between stars, planets, asteroids, and satellites, both natural and human-made. They'll find out how to differentiate these items by eye and will learn how cultures have interpreted them in the past. Through activities and stories, students will learn the dependence that we all have on the things outside our atmosphere.

Campfire is a special activity at CHOSS.  On the last evening of the program students get to perform a skit or song they have been practicing throughout the week.

Staff and Teacher also have the opportunity to showcase their talents thus making campfire an incredible lasting memory for students.

Night Hike

How do animals live and move around in the darkness? What adaptations do they use? By using their senses to experience the natural world, students will learn how both humans and animals adapt to nocturnal environments. While in a safe setting, students will build trust and community by supporting one another as they navigate the darkness together.

Snakes

"The Snake Lady" comes in and teaches about various types of snakes and how to identify poisonous ones. Students learn about snake anatomy, cultural fascinations with snakes, their importance, and how to live peacefully with them. At the end, students will have the opportunity to actually hold live snakes.

 

*The availability of this class is dependent upon our presenter's schedule.

World Dance

Different cultures dance for different reasons: some for fun, some for ritual, some for thanks. At CHOSS, we try to honor all of the different reasons why humans dance. We'll incorporate the music of the diverse cultures that span the globe as we celebrate life and all of the different reasons we have to be thankful.

Our students will have many fun and educational activities during the evening with their cabin-mates, from the amazing experience of hiking in our hills at night learning about our nocturnal environment to experiencing some dances from around the world with our staff and fellow classmates to the amazing campfire experience on their last night. In the cabins we strive to develop a safe, fun, open and creative environment where our students can develop social skills with their classmates. Many of our students leave having discovered new friends in their bunkmates or become closer with the friends they already have. Just another way in which CHOSS strives to provide each of our students with the well-rounded learning experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.

 

Each attending school chooses one to three evening activities (depending on the length of their stay). And the last night of each and every program is punctuated with our campfire experience where each cabin will have the opportunity to create a skit which they will share with us all! The activities they may choose from include:

SCHEDULE SAMPLE

This is what you can expect for your week at CHOSS during a typical 5-day program. We provide you with many opportunities to observe and interact with our Instructors and your students and to see them in new and exciting learning environments.

MONDAY

ARRIVAL & INTRO

TUESDAY

SCIENCE CURRICULUM

10:00am

10:00-10:30am

10:30-11:00am

11:30am-12:30pm

12:30pm

1:45pm

4:30pm

5:30pm

7:30pm

10:00pm

 

 

Arrival

Meeting in Hitching Post

Opening

Move in to your room

Lunch

Meeting with the Cabin Instructors in the Hitching Post

Meeting with the Field Instructors in the Hitching Post

Dinner

Evening Curriculum #1

Lights Out

7:30am

8:30am

 

8:30-9:00am

9:00-11:45am

 

11:45am

12:30-3:15pm

 

3:30-4:30pm

5:30pm

7:30pm

10:00pm

 

 

Breakfast

Students meet Field Groups in the Grove

Photosynthesis Theater / Lorax

Hiking - Opportunity to follow students on trail

Lunch on trail

Hiking - Opportunity to follow students on trail

Teacher Time

Dinner

Evening Curriculum #2

Lights Out

WEDNESDAY

ADVENTURE CURRICULUM

THURSDAY

SCIENCE CURRICULUM

7:30am

8:30am

 

8:45-10:15am

10:15-11:45am

11:45am

12:30-2:00pm

2:00-3:15pm

3:30-4:30pm

5:30pm

7:30pm

10:00pm

 

 

Breakfast

Students meet Field Groups in the Grove

Adventure Curriculum #1

Adventure Curriculum #2

Lunch

Adventure Curriculum #3

Adventure Curriculum #4

Teacher Time

Dinner

Evening Curriculum #3

Lights Out

7:30am

8:30am

 

8:30-11:45am

 

 

11:45am

12:30-3:15pm

 

3:30-4:30pm

5:30pm

7:30pm

10:00pm

 

 

Breakfast

Students meet Field Groups in the Grove

Environmental Hike - Students do projects with an environmental action theme

Lunch

Hiking - Opportunity to follow students on trail

Teacher Time

Dinner

Campfire

Lights Out

FRIDAY

DEPARTURE

6:30am

 

7:30am

8:30am

9:00am

10:00-10:30am

10:30am

 

 

Students wake up, pack up and move out

Breakfast

Students fill out Evaluations

End of the week Meeting

Closing

Goodbye and Departure

© 2015 Camp Highland Outdoor Science School (CHOSS). 10600 Highland Springs Avenue, Cherry Valley, California 9223 USA

Telephone 951-845-1151     Fax 951-845-8090      info@camphighland.net