“This was my first time camping…”
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“This was my first time camping…”


JOSH: The Climate Change Academy
is a three day program where high school students
get to come out to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. They spend two nights camping here. They’ll be learning a couple
of activities that they’ll be then sharing with fourth grade
students on the third day. MATT: They’re getting a change
to actually teach for the first time in their lives. Maybe a chance to see if they want to become a teacher someday. KELLY: They get to be in this place
learning about giant trees and how they’re responding
to climate change. And little tiny things that
are living in the water and how they’re dealing
with climate change. JOSH: These students live down in the Central Valley and they get to look
up see these mountains. And many of them don’t get
to make their way up here. KELLY: It’s maybe their first time camping, it might be their first time in the park, it may be their first hike that’s over a quarter-mile, so there are a lot
of really exciting, really different, really new
experiences that they’re having. At the same time, they’re
learning about what’s happening here and how to take care of
the future of these parks. STUDENT: So here we’re gonna try to
learn about climate change and the impact that humans have on it. And hopefully try to find some solutions. I don’t think we realize how much we are damaging our planet. It’s our future, really. STUDENT: This might not be here
for long if we keep doing what we’re doing. I mean pollution, global
warming, all that stuff like that — its really affecting us so
much more than what people seem to realize. STUDENT: We just had a major drought,
and where I live we have a lot of oranges. A lot of the whole fields
are just getting cut down because they can’t use anymore water since we don’t have enough. STUDENT: So when I first started this experience, I was bit nervous ’cause I’m
not really an outdoors type of guy and I actually
don’t really enjoy it. But once I got here, it
was actually quite fun. STUDENT: This was my first time camping. City girl, camping. STUDENT: I’m not much of like a
person to walk and do exercises but hiking, like, I really enjoyed it. This is really awesome
to come out here and observe all this. STUDENT: You gain a lot of knowledge, you’re going through new experiences. It’s not just learning
but you’re experiencing, you’re being introduced to things. (inspirational music) MATT: On day one, you arrive at the campsite and: “Can’t find the showers!
Where are the showers? How are we going to survive?” And by the last day, everyone’s
having a good time around the campfire getting their hands dirty. It’s amazing the type of changes
that you see in just three days camping out here in a national park. STUDENT: To be honest, I feel great. I’m honestly excited to teach
the fourth graders stuff and I’m excited to show them
everything that we’ve learned. And then to take this
experience and go tell my family about it at home. STUDENT: I don’t live very far,
maybe 45 minutes away, and the fact that I’ve
never been here is something I wanna change. I definitely want to come here more often. STUDENT: Try to tell my family to come
here cause it’s really fun. Looking at trees, the
sequoias, they’ll love that. STUDENT: I was surprised to see
how big the trees were. STUDENT: Big trees, like really big trees. STUDENT: It was so fun to play in the snow. It’s soft, as people say. STUDENT: As soon as I saw like
the first speck of snow on the ground, I took out my camera. I’m like, I gotta show my mom this. STUDENT: I’ve never been in snow before, so that was like my favorite thing here. STUDENT: Going in the water and
catching those little bugs. Ohh, it was so fun. I just love digging through stuff
and finding new things. Those little creatures are so gross but I like it — that was really fun. STUDENT: I don’t normally get
in water for no bugs. I don’t even like bugs
like that, but that was fun. STUDENT: Oh my God! Oh that’s a buck, too! Look at! You can see the little bumps on his head. STUDENT: I was expecting educational
but this is actually really fun to do. STUDENT: I think I’m a little bit
more humble with nature and with myself now. STUDENT: I just hope that they do
this more and teach more kids because I learned a lot from here. It was fun!

One Comment

  • bowenj10

    What a great program and opportunity for these kids. I volunteered as a camp counselor for a 5th grade class in northwest Washington state. We took the kids to the San Juan's to camp and hike and learn. For some, it was their first time in the outdoors. The looks on their faces was worth the time and effort.

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