Field Studies: Yosemite


Field studies trips are filled with adventures and new friendships. Each trip affects people differently and each trip is unique from the other. The field studies club is open to anyone wanting to learn more about the environment and get to know new people. Seniors Cole Schmitt, Collette Buynak, and Ben Buran have all had different experiences on the same trip. Yosemite is a beautiful place to explore nature and take a step back from the crazy lives we live.

Some students have been on other field studies trips or even to Yosemite before but this trip still made an impact on these seniors. Cole has been to Yosemite with field studies before but this time he got to experience something new. During the trip, “we watercolor painted a meadow in Crane Flats. It was refreshing because the arts aren’t usually the focus of the program” Cole explained. This is something that hasn’t been done on previous trips, so it created an impact on a returner. Both Collette and Ben hadn’t been to Yosemite before this field studies trip. Collette describes that “this trip was different [from Zion] because we had a tour guide for a lot of the time who gave us a lot of background knowledge of how historic the park is”. Her trip to Zion was a much bigger group of students as well. On Yosemite, everyone was able to let go of what they hold on to at home and learn about nature together.

A huge part of field studies trips is the unity of the students. Every night there is a campfire and a dinner made by the students where everyone shares stories and plays music together. Ben was simply mesmerized by the scenery of Yosemite and described how “one day we hiked to one of the sides of the valley where we got an amazing view of the valley and boulders [and] another day we went to a beautiful meadow”. But the night had the greatest impact. After spending the whole day hiking, the students came back to a cabin to eat, when “Erik Alvarez and Constandse pulled out their guitars and started jamming out together. We then began playing games, some of which were very focused on educating us… It seemed that everyone offered a good life lesson if you searched for one”. The biggest impact varies with each student. It could be seeing a different part of nature that wasn’t seen before or it could be the relationships people build.

Field studies trips have something for everyone. Returners get new experiences with each trip, newbies get to make friends and see nature in a new way, and the trip itself inspires others. The field studies family is open to everyone and has something special for each person who joins.