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7th Grade Field Trip to Catalina

Erica Delos Santos, Staff Writer

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“Catalina was very a fun-filled week and I had so much fun,” Catie Tang (7), said. “Even though I wasn’t in a cabin with all of my friends, I still had more fun than I expected.”
On September 11, 2017, 7th graders arrived at HMS at 6:15 A.M. and got on their designated buses, excited and energized for the week ahead of them. For many, this is one of the few times they were going to be away from home for a long time. Still, students were hyped for the upcoming trip.
Even though many past students who went to Catalina said it wasn’t worth it, a lot of students still found it fun. For many students, there were low expectations while heading to Catalina. Students had many mixed feelings about Catalina before arriving and all throughout the trip. Although there were some good and bad parts of Catalina, everyone seemed to be enjoying their stay.
When we arrived at Catalina, there were yellow jackets everywhere. Lots of people didn’t eat their lunch to avoid the yellow jackets coming near them and their food. Even while the counselors were giving announcements in the amphitheater, no one was really listening because everyone was distracted by the yellow jackets.
Many people were relieved to get to their cabin, but some people had ant and spider problems. These problems continued throughout the week, but it wasn’t that bad in the end. Also, many people overcame their fear of ants or spiders because of this.
The activities at Catalina were many students’ favorite part. These activities were activities that can’t be done every day, so it was truly a special experience for many students.
“Overall, my experience at Catalina was amazing. Snorkeling, swimming at the beach, and hiking were only some of the things I got to experience at Catalina,” Chelsea Chiu (7) said.
One of the most enjoyed activities for students was the trust walk. In this activity, everyone is blindfolded in a single file line except for the person in the very front of the line. Students have to trust the person in front of them to lead them over obstacles such as tents, trees, poles, and rocks. Although it was quite chaotic, students had tremendous fun being blindfolded and hiking around the camp.
Another favorite activity for students was snorkeling. Students snorkeled twice at Catalina, and each time saw breathtaking views. Some sights were the orange Garibaldi fish, blue sheephead fish, kelp forests, and rocks. Extra-adventurous students could dive down and get a closer look at what was below them.
Students also had to create and perform a skit. These skits had to include 5 facts about anything they learned at Catalina. Students’ skits varied between learning group, and many students found it very interesting to see what all the groups came up with.
“I got to see everyone be creative, and at the same time, recall important facts I learned along the way,” Neil Chen (7) said.
One of the most memorable parts of Catalina was the closing campfire. The theme at Catalina was acknowledging fears and overcoming them. On the last night at Catalina, students gathered in the amphitheater around a campfire. After skits, students could volunteer to go up in front of the whole grade and talk about their fears and how they were able to overcome them at Catalina. The fears varied from bugs and yellow jackets to public speaking and insecurities. Then, they threw a stick into the campfire. This was truly an inspirational moment for all the students.
Although there were so many activities at Catalina, for many people, just being at Catalina with all their friends was their favorite part. Being around all your friends in once place for a whole week was something that almost every student at Catalina enjoyed. It was the perfect opportunity to get closer to peers.
Overall, Catalina was a memorable experience for every student who went.

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “7th Grade Field Trip to Catalina”

  1. Thai Villaluna on October 3rd, 2017 3:57 pm

    Erica is the best writer in the world!

    [Reply]

  2. Mr. Kurtenbach on October 4th, 2017 2:25 pm

    Well written article Erica. I think that it is interesting that many past students said it was not worth it. I’m wondering if students would like us to change the trip to something else?

    [Reply]

    Alyson Garcia Reply:

    Hi Mr. Kurtenbach! Although some students did say it wasn’t worth it, many other students did say they loved it. I went this year, and my friends and I all enjoyed it. I do not think you should change the trip to something else.

    [Reply]

    Joyce Leckband Reply:

    There’s space camp in Idylwild (8th) and a great science camp in Malibu (7th) at Hermosa Beach Unified. Let me know if you want more info, Mr. K.

    [Reply]

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7th Grade Field Trip to Catalina