RMS 6th Graders
Ross sixth-graders attend camp this week for first-hand science lessons

March 25, 2024

All this week, science lessons will come to life for 120 sixth-graders from Ross Middle School. The students and their chaperones will be learning about natural history while spending four days at the Foothill Horizons outdoor education camp.

Through the years, the much-anticipated field trip has been something of a rite of passage for sixth-graders from many regional school districts. Ross Principal Mary La Rosa said her students are eager to explore the same trails, hills and creeks at the 143-acre facility in Tuolumne County that many of their older siblings – and, in some cases, even their parents – experienced years before. La Rosa herself said she still has the wooden necklace with her name on it each student receives from her own trip years ago.

The lessons cover ecology, geology, and plants and animals native to the foothills. The real-life adventure will piggy-back on what the students have been learning in their science class.

“For the past two weeks, students have been doing a bird study leading up to camp,” La Rosa explained. “They are learning about the many different species of birds that they will see at Foothill Horizons.”

La Rosa said the prep-camp curriculum also has covered different weather patterns, which is appropriate given the stormy forecast for much of this week. Rain or shine, she plans to spend Tuesday at the camp hiking with the students.

The goal every year, according to the Foothill Horizons website, is to provide “an interactive outdoor science experience, a collaborative learning environment and personal growth opportunities through individual challenges” to develop “respectful global citizens dedicated to stewardship in their communities and beyond.”

Most of the students and their families pay for them to attend camp. For those unable to do so, La Rosa thanked the Ross Parent Teacher Club, Hughson businesses and community members for sponsoring students.

The Ross staff members serving as chaperones this week are Sergio Vera, Josh Montgomery, Polly Hicks, Adrianna Rodrigues and Felicia White.