Camping with the BEETS

3.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_5842Our Spring cohort of BEETS had an overnight camping experience on Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27, 2016. The goals of the trip were: to have fun, learn about the environment, learn more about each other, bond together, and try something new.
The Presidio shuttle picked up the youth at John Muir School and drove them to the Rob Hill Campsite, where they were oriented and set-up provided tents. It was a beautiful spring day for camping in the Presidio.
Teens set up a lunch of sandwiches and then proceeded to the Presidio Nursery. They learned how the Nursery is helping to restore the Presidio by planting native plants. They learned about seeds and how they are preserved. 3.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_58753.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_5865Here the BEETS got to shake acorns and hear the seed rattling. 3.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_5859One of the plants they studied was Aesculus California. Here is a photo of the seed growing and the final plant in a bush form. One of the highlights was to learn about our ancestors who took care of these lands had a lot of knowledge about the plants they lived with. Our ancestors understood that if they take care of the plants, the plants will take care of us.
3.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_59213.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_58973.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_59223.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_59173.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_59403.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_5927At the end of the Presidio Nursery trip, the teens paired up and Desmond, the Presidio Nursery Community Coordinator and our guide, led them through a trust exercise called “Find Your Tree.” The activity required the BEETS to trust their partner as they led them blindfolded through the woods and then they had to rely on their sense of touch, smell and hearing to find their tree.
Afterward the group came back to the campsite to relax, build a campfire and watch the sunset. After dinner there was a campfire with stories and games. Then they went on a night hike to Golden Gate Bridge where they saw an amazing view of the stars and the beauty of San Francisco. The night ended with s’mores around the campfire and off to sleep in their tents.
On Sunday, rise and shine was at 7:30 and then they took down their tents and cleaned up the campsite. After a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, yogurt and granola, there was a team building exercise where the paired up and walked around the trails to find native plants. They shared with the group a plant that they’ve found and some facts from their cards.
After a check out circle with CAP (Camping in the Presidio) staff, the teens did appreciations and review goals of the trip. It was a great weekend! Some of the appreciations included: teens thanked each other for helping cook and clean dinner, even when that wasn’t their assigned task; one BEET appreciated another BEET for staying by his side when he started to feel sick Sunday morning; several BEETS said they appreciated nature and the beauty of the campsite!
3.26.16-BEETS-Camping_IMG_5885For more photos check out our Flickr Photostream here.