CHS Life Science students explore Skyland Ranch

Thirty-six students in the Life Science program engage in a day filled with learning activities at the Girl Scout ranch


Olivia Torres

CHS students engage in a nature walk during their trip to Skyland Ranch on May 6, 2022.

Idyllwild, CA—On Friday, Colton High’s life science classes traveled to Skyland Ranch for a field trip that offered a wide range of learning activities and experiences.

During the full-day trip, 36 CHS students went on hikes, explored the ranch’s brand new U.S. Bank-sponsored Learning Lab, and even hit the target range to practice archery.

Skyland Ranch is run by San Gorgonio Girl Scout Council, an environmental education organization committed to helping girls love science. In 2018, the Council funded a 3-day camping trip to the Ranch. Due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus, this year they funded the one-day trip.

At the beginning of the day, camp facilitators split the field trip group, comprised of students from Ms. Kristin Griffith, Ms. Morgan Clark, and Mr. Jesus Delgado’s life science classes, into teams of 18. The teams played games, and went on a nature walk.

On the walk, students learned a variety of useful information, such as the fact that mistletoe is a parasite plant. They discovered deer footprints, and learned about local flora, like the Artemisia tridentata, commonly called big sagebrush, and white sage

Students  also learned cool facts about the ranch, how it is connected to the Pacific Crest Trail, which starts in Mexico and goes all the way into Canada. One of the camp facilitators shared ”I see a lot of people come here and start the trail; they take around seven months to get Canada.”

Groups also engaged with the U.S. Bank Learning Lab, where they dissected owl pellets. The lab also had stations focusing on climate change and geology.

Students were treated to a lunch catered by Subway, then after lunch learned about aerodynamics and enjoyed time playing on the archery range. “It was pretty fun,” said freshman Marcos Juarez.

Ms. Morgan Clark enjoyed the day and was glad her students got to enjoy it as well. “It was great and a good change of pace for my students who have been stressed lately with their testing,” she said.

Skyland Ranch, referred to on the Girl Scout website as “the camp that cookies built,” has been inspiring young people, especially girls, for the past 70 years. The ranch sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet in Idyllwild, and is one of the last remaining Girl Scout camps in the nation. For those interested in donating to help the ranch maintain and upgrade their facilities, go to their website for more information.