Volcan Mountain Foundation

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San Diego County, California

Ages 11-13/Grades 6-8

The Volcan Mountain Foundation offers transformational outdoor experiences for schools and youth groups on the beautiful wild lands of Volcan Mountain and at the Volcan Mountain nature center. We offer a variety of field trips year-round for children in grades 1-12. The following is a list of the nature classes that we provide for grades 6-8. Contact Us to Learn More and Schedule Your Nature Adventure!
Citizen Science for Beginning Birders
2.5 hours
Introduce the wonderful world of birding to your students in this exciting hands-on introduction to bird watching. This field trip teaches young beginning birders about bird adaptations and techniques to observe birds in the wild. Students' recorded observations will provide critical scientific data about the birds on Volcan Mountain.
Students will learn through stories and games exactly what makes a bird a bird and the amazing adaptations birds have to help them survive and thrive in their habitats. They will play a migration game and “eat like a bird” in the Bird Beaks game. Then the students will borrow our binoculars and go bird watching to spy on all the feathered friends they can find and identify. Students will be empowered to continue to use their new scientific skills at school, home, or elsewhere. All recorded bird observations will be uploaded to the eBird citizen-science project at Cornell Lab of Ornithology one of the world’s largest citizen-science databases.
Wilderness Skills and Primitive Fire-Making
4.0 hours
This exciting outdoor adventure is all hands-on! Learn the wilderness skills of the native Kumeyaay people and how they lived off the land for thousands of years using their natural resources.
Participate in three hands-on primitive wilderness skills including; Yucca rope making, building a debris shelter, and grinding red clay and seeds to learn how resources were prepared for survival. The day culminates with the whole group learning to make fire by friction using a bow and spindle. Fire building techniques are demonstrated with an emphasis on fire safety. Each student will take home a finished Yucca rope they make.
Watershed Investigators
2.5 hours
It’s a fact that everyone lives in a watershed. But what is a watershed and which one do you live in? Is the water clean? How can you tell? Practice your detective skills and investigate how water travels through watersheds or “waterhoods” of diverse plants, animals, and people on its way from the mountains to the ocean.
Students will begin their quest with a visit to the Volcan Mountain Nature Center to participate in a hands-on interactive demonstration of how watersheds function by creating a "rainstorm" over a 3D relief map of Volcan Mountain. Discover why the native Kumeyaay people called this ancient place, “Where the water comes from.” In addition, students will learn how pollution affects the watershed by conducting chemical tests of the water in the stream to determine its ability to support life. After lunch, investigators will explore the riparian Watershed Trail.
Headwaters of Hahachepang on Volcan Mountain
4.0 hours
This fieldtrip includes everything from the Watershed Investigators experience, however, instead of hiking the shorter Watershed trail, students will go on an exciting adventure to the summit of the 1.5-mile Sky Island Trail. Discover why the native Kumeyaay named Volcan Mountain, “Hahachepang” meaning, “Where the water comes from.” Learn how water travels through watersheds or “waterhoods” of diverse plants, animals, and people on its way from the mountains to the ocean.
Students will create a “rainstorm” on our 3D map of Volcan Mountain and conduct scientific investigations to determine water quality. They will then travel to the ancient headwaters at Ironside Spring to see where the San Dieguito River begins. After lunch, students will hike the Sky Island Trail which culminates in a spectacular view of the San Dieguito River watershed. On a clear day it is possible to see the ocean ― the final destination of the water that originates on Volcan Mountain!