a non-profit organizationText Box:   A Letter to Future High School Counselors
Text Box: This month approximately 500 Castro Valley 6th grade students attended ENH at Loma Mar. Along with the students came 70 high school students who participated as counselors. Afterwards, Erin Gaab, one of the counselors, sent us an open letter to encourage other high school students to participate as counselors. Here is her letter...
As my girls ran through the bridge of arms one by one, I couldn't help breaking my section of the human arch to return their goodbye hugs. Those nine sixth graders had been my life for the last week. They were my new little sisters. They were my reason to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face, no matter how cold the outside of my sleeping bag was. I'd traveled through the forest trails with them during the day and read them stories until I heard their soft snores in the darkness. Now it was time to give them back to their legal Text Box: guardians and all I could do was smile. 
I'd forgotten what it felt like to drive a car or type on the computer since I left for my retreat at Exploring New Horizons Outdoor School. Technology there consists of a two light bulbs in each cabin and a solitary payphone. I'd shoved the stresses of Honors Physics and A.P. Statistics and English, scholarship applications, my two paid and three weekly volunteer jobs, and my roles in four service clubs into a tiny corner of my mind. The nervous anticipation of college acceptance and rejection letters instantly dissolved to make room for adventurous sixth graders. The trip was more worth it than I ever could've imagined. 
Exploring New Horizons provides the most beautiful “classrooms" imaginable. Redwood needles coat the floor and the ceiling stretches up farther than the human eye can see. Sunlight streams through the redwood walls in  (con’t on p. 3) Text Box:   Salinas Students Sample for Sand Crabs
Text Box: Last fall we wrote about a new project at the Sempervirens Outdoor School — sampling for sand crabs at Natural Bridges State Beach. Sand crabs are a major food source for shore birds and are therefore a good indicator species for the overall health of the beach.
This project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hardin Foundation, the McMahan Foundation and the Rancho San Carlos Education Foundation, brought over 400 students from Title 1 schools in Salinas to outdoor school for a week. (con’t. on p. 3)

Salinas students collecting sand crabs and recording the size, sex, and presence of eggs

“Dear SVOS Staff, 

My son just returned from his week of outdoor school at your camp.  He returned with just the right mix in my view of enthusiasm and sense of accomplishment and spirit of fun.  Thank you for providing this wonderful week for him and his other Castro classmates.”


- Castro Elementary Parent, Feb., 2005