About a week ago I got back from my schools trip to Oregon. It truly is such an amazing experience to go on a trip with your friends and classmates. If it was with any other group ( like my family ) I probably would have complained a lot more because of so many different reasons. First of all, I was surrounded by people who are actually my age and that I really get along with. And also because my teachers made such an effort to give us an educational, but incredibly fun trip. Every experience was able to teach us a new skill or help us build ourselves as learners and people. Yet every single moment was enjoyable because we were either doing something that was so entertaining or we were gossiping in the back of the van with our friends during a 6 hour drive. The basis behind our trip was that we were learning about Advertising. Along the way multiple different groups interviewed different business so that we can create print ads for their business.
Our trip started off on a slight rough patch because I had to wake up at 4:50 AM but I didn’t mind it that much, except for when I had to spend 5 minutes trying to find my alarm in the dark because it was to early for my brain to realize that it would be a lot easier to turn the lights on. Although once we all the kids got on the bus we were able to find enough energy that early in the morning to make sure no one slept for the rest of the day. Our first stop was at a ginormous Cabela’s in Olympia. For our journals we had to recreate the pose of a taxidermy animal. It was quite funny because a lot of the animals were in very peculiar positions so we had to twist ourselves into very weird angles. I would say that we got some weird looks because as a very large group of teenagers who were posing as animals, we probably came off as a little crazy. I think it was a really good project though because we learned some problem-solving with having to find animals that we actually in normal poses. We also learned a very important skill. Photo formation. This skill came in handy throughout the trip when the teachers wanted group photos.
My business that I am advertising for is Astoria Column. Being the first group to interview a business was really scary because I had very little idea of how it was going to go. It was a really good lesson to have to create a plan with a small amount of time. A really good part of being on a trip without many adults I got to learn how to make quick decisions and lots of independence. With our interview I had to step out of my comfort zone and step up to be a leader and lead the interview. It was really helpful to do a mock interview with a teacher first because I liked getting some helpful critiques because it really improved how I framed my questions and opened up the interview. A good thing about constantly being around your peers is that whenever you need help they can jump in and assist you or give you so helpful critiques to further your learning. One thing that we definitely learned that day was flexibility. Our bus broke down about 5 minutes before we arrived at our camp for the night. We spent an hour on the side of the road waiting to get towed to the camp. It was quite to learning experience, where we learned how to try and keep calm while sleep deprived, hyper and trapped in a small environment with 20 other kids.
The fact that we had no vehicle became a slight issues for all of the kids when we realized we had to walk to Fort Stevens the next morning. Obviously we are all capable of walking the distance but we had the opportunity to complain a little so we took it. As we all realized, the walk was not nearly as bad as we thought it would be. At fort stevens we got an incredible tour of how the disappearing cannons worked and how everyone worked around them. After the tour we got to complete a quest. We had to figure out a bunch of clues that were hidden around the entire fort. We had to run around the entire place multiple times. I was very proud that my team was the only one to fully complete the quest. I definitely bragged a lot about that. The most difficult part of the day was when we were left to walk back alone. A lot of us had some doubts about our groups ability to walk back without any teachers. We did make it back in one piece but there were a couple phones that were left behind that had to chased after to find.
I would say having to walk along the highway with a group of teenagers definitely was able to teach me perseverance and Independence. Well I didn’t learn the skill, but it definitely was able to build upon the skill. One of the things our trip did was instead of teaching me only new skills, it also helped build upon important life skills.
All my life I’ve known that I’m absolutely terrified of heights, so the idea of attaching myself to a cord suspended very high up was not a comforting idea. To say I was nervous about zip-lining is an understatement. But once I did one line I realized that I wasn’t that scared. The more lines I did, the more confident I became with the heights. It probably a good thing that I got confident fast because the height of each line increased quite quickly. Although I have to say that being jump-scared by a giant Sasquatch was not one of my finest moments.
At Cannon beach we got to experience becoming marine biologists by looking in tide pools. Even though we got to look at even more diverse tide pools at Yaquina Head I still thought it was really helpful and informative to get a beginner understanding of how to interact with them.
I would say that going on the whale watching boat trip was by far one of my favourite activities. Although we didn’t see any whales ( I was very disappointed ) it was still such an amazing experience. We got to learn about seabirds, whale migration patterns and crab pots! Along with the fact that I learned so much, it was also really enjoyable because one of the main focuses of that specific company is to provide everyone with a fun time. It may sound a little cheesy but I’m really glad that they made it one of their main priorities because I would definitely go back there again.
Later that day we visited the Hatfield Marine Science Center and Visitor centre. We got to run a experiment with a crab race. I loved being able to create my own hypothesis, do data collection and make predictions. Our original hypothesis was that the female would be faster because it wasn’t weighed down with a large claw. The first run through that we did probed our hypothesis to be wrong. Since we had more time, we decided to do the experiment. Except this time our hypothesis was right and the females were faster. After we finished our experiment we got to check out the visitor centre which was just incredible. They had an octopus and multiple aquariums where you could touch the animals. Let’s just say that I was very freaked out by how the sea cucumber felt. We were able to use a tsunami stimulator and build houses to see if they would survive ( they didn’t and we should never build houses )
We went back outside to learn about shrimp slurping ( I know that the name is really weird ) We used these tube/ suction things that pulled up sand with shrimp hiding inside. I got involved into a competition and did lose but only by 3 shrimp! We then went inside again and measured the shrimp record data. I was to scared to touch the shrimps ( because who wants to touch a squirmy and very alive shrimp that lives in sand? I certainly did not. But I did help record all the data.
That night we got to go on the most beautiful walk along the beach at sunset. We started off in the forest and then ended up in these grassy dunes. Eventually we had to slide down this hill of sand to the beach. We got there just in time to see the sunset. We walked along the beach until we got to jetty’s and we climbed up on top of them.
We went back to the Hatfield Marine Science center again the next day. We learned about ROV’s and there purposes with deep underwater searches and retrievals. We got to actually create ROV’s except for a small catch. We had only a limited amount of materials that had to be shared between every group. It was definitely a fight for materials in high demand. Our ROV had some issues but they were easy to fix. After some small adjustments, our ROV was able to collect quite a few pieces of metal from the bottom.
I would like to add Yaquina head to the list of most beautiful places that I have visited. The tide pools there are absolutely incredible. The amount of diversity in species in those smalls areas of water is just breath taking. There was supposedly a octopus but I just missed it before it went into hiding. My favourite animal there were the sea stars. We got to do a final quest there which was my favourite one. We were able to figure out the final word early on which meant we had more time to really take in the sights from the top of the mountain. We worked with another group to complete the quest which really helped with finishing faster. A couple other groups were upset that we didn’t help them but hey, alls fair in love and war ( this was more of a war )
We got to go to a surprise activity called Bullwinkles. It’s a fun park with laser tag, go-karts, water bumper cars, and zip lining. My favourites had to be everything. I loved doing laser tag with some guys and absolutely demolishing the teachers. Although I did get body checked into a pile of tires by my own teammate. I was surprisingly good at go-karting except for the fact that I was constantly getting bumped into the barriers by a couple specific people. In water bumper cars I found our very quickly that they have water guns attached to them. Once all of the guys figured that out they decided that I was the perfect target.
On our final day we got to visit Wolf Haven. Wolf Havens mission is to provide a safe space for wolves and wolf dogs that aren’t accustomed to living in the wild. They have an amazing forest behind the sanctuary with a grandfather tree. They think a lighting bolt hit the tree which caused it to grow our multiple trees from the same trunk. As for the wolves, I would say that they are quite the mix of personalities. Some of them are loners, others are laidback, and others love humans and just are playful spirits. My favourite wolf was the one that had a tongue that permanently stuck out because he was so playful and was constantly rolling around.
Although my camera roll is more based towards goofy pictures of everyone, I think some of the main lessons that will stick with me after this trip was perseverance, confidence and teamwork. The trip helped me build upon my skills and gain new skills to help navigate through life with my newfound independence.