Hello all from California! Our Spring Mountain Classroom group is growing in spirit and unity every day. As we drove from the airport towards our first campsite, called Mission Creek, we overheard our instructors Peter and Lori engaged in a conversation about genetically engineered foods, or GE foods, which immediately set the bar for our expectations of the term.
In these past few days, the scenery here in Southern California has been indicative of our focus for the term: farms and food. So needless to say, passing the many farms and feedlots on the road has sparked many conversations just five days into the trip.
In Mission Creek we began our orientation by having basic camping and equipment classes, and our introduction to our bus and trailer systems. On Day 2 we went on a day hike that linked up with the Pacific Crest Trail, a trail that spans from Mexico to Canada. As we left Mission Creek Preserve, we made our first stop at a grocery store and on our way out, we came across a mother and daughter who had a flat tire. As we helped them with their tire, students talked to these locals about the differences in weather that we experience. We were shocked that they live in 120 degree weather during the summer while they were shocked that 25 degrees is the norm for our winter.
As we learn of agriculture and food systems, we wonder why it is so important that our past educations have pointed nearly all of us towards career paths in big business, with the idea of indefinite financial success as its motivation. The success envisioned in our Mountain education is one of global proportions. It is one that will not be achieved without teamwork, which is why a good portion of our Mountain education is directed around Group Dynamics.
As it stands now, Proctor Academy’s Mountain Classroom minibus, trailer and students are situated on the beach of the Salton Sea where we will be spending the next few days. An amazing sunset on the water was accompanied by an even better dinner of barbecue chicken sandwiches and sweet potato fries, our first student-prepared meal. We are excited for tomorrow and even more excited to begin our climbing adventure in Joshua Tree National Park, and of course eager to learn something new.
~ Will C. and Alex