Getting an outdoor education

From left: Michaela Cosentino, Katie Reinhold, Kylie Borland and parent Susan Cosentino enjoy their experience with nature.

Webster Elementary School fifth-graders recently made their 17th annual pilgrimage to Yosemite National Park for a week of outdoor environmental education. The 50 children climbed the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls, crawled through the trunk of a fallen giant sequoia tree, and wriggled through the spider caves.

They learned about John Muir, the Miwok Indians, conservation and the species of plants and animals that live in the park. Their evening campfire program was interrupted one night by a visit from a curious brown bear.

Accompanied by principal Phil Cott, teachers Rachel Smith and Kristina Cook and eight parent chaperones, the students enjoyed a memorable experience among the waterfalls and sheer rock walls of one of the most beautiful places in the world.