Report from the Park: California (Part Two)

This is part two of our reflections and photo highlights from the Parks in Focus trip to Yosemite in early July.

One of the most talked about and favorited activities of the entire trip to Yosemite came on Day 3 in an unexpected place – a Stewardship Project (see Sara’s coordinator commentary here) where we helped National Park Service staff pull out invasive thistle and mullen to restore native plant habitat (see photos with awesome neon vests).  The theme for the rest of the day seemed to be temperature regulation:  we “cooled off” by swimming in the Merced River, which is fed by glacial melt and then warmed back up by making s’mores around a campfire.   On our last night, participants ditched the tents and slept outside under the stars, which they named as their own unique constellations.

It was a fantastic week, and we wrapped it up PIF-style with some yummy food and celebrations on Day 4: M&M pancakes, warm fuzzy notes, and all of the youth were sworn in as Junior Rangers!

Round two of photos highlights of the kids and staff are below. For more, visit our California 2011 collection on Flickr.

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