From kindergarten through Upper School, Keystone students travel to nearby and distant locations to explore their world. Lower school field trips are designed to support, enhance and enrich daily classroom instruction. Students attend plays, visit working farms, and sample the history of San Antonio and Austin. Middle School students travel farther in pursuit of science, history and personal challenges. Students camp and hike as they study the ecology and wildlife at Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Olympic National Park, and west Texas parks.
The purpose of these excursions is to introduce students to incredible natural beauty and the joys of the outdoors, and to give students an opportunity to know each other better outside of the classroom. The student/teacher relationships which develop from such experiences are unique to Keystone. Sharing a colorful sunset on a much needed break along a long trail, or jokes around the campfire have formed some of our most cherished memories as teachers and comprise many of the students’ fondest school experiences.
The 8th grade students travel to Yellowstone National Park early in the school year. This trip constitutes a graded mini-course covering the geology and ecology of amazing Yellowstone, but the adventure is also packed with fun activities. Prior to the trip, we introduce the students to basic features of the park and distribute handouts. While there, students are responsible for all discussion material, which they enter into individual journals. Their grade in the course is determined by a combination of their journal grades and their level of enthusiasm and participation in camp duties during the trip. The course grade is recorded on their transcript as a non-credit mini-course.
The ninth grade travels to the Olympic Park Institute (“OPI”) at the northern edge of the Olympic National Park in mid-September. Olympic National Park contains both mountain terrain and a rain forest. OPI offers a varied selection of programs for our students including:
- Forest Ecology
- Watershed Science
- Earth Sciences
- Elwha River Project
The class is divided into 3 groups for daily instruction and hands-on experience in an outdoor setting by OPI professional staff. One of our 4 trip sponsors accompanies each group.
Lodging and food are provided by OPI. The cabins are comfortable and heated. The OPI web site (www.naturebridge.org) provides a wealth of supplemental information.
The tenth grade travels to Yosemite National Institute (“YNI”) in Yosemite National Park in mid-November. YNI offers a strong educational program based upon the varied resources of this unique national park. Activities include studying the sequoias, orienteering, navigating in the total darkness of an underground cave, and hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls.
Lodging and food are provided by YNI. The cabins are comfortable and heated. The YNI web site (www.naturebridge.org) provides a wealth of supplemental information.
The senior class travels to west Texas near the beginning of the school year. The park offers educational opportunities involving desert, river, and southwestern ecology. The trip is also used to give the college counselor a chance to spend non-structured time with students and to provide a last-year-at-Keystone bonding experience.