Outdoor Education Resumes

Dozens of local fifth graders traveled to Camp Oakes near Big Bear this week for their previously postponed outdoor science experience. The Long Beach Unified School District is providing abbreviated two-and-a-half-day sessions at the popular YMCA camp in the San Bernardino Mountains to replace the traditional five-day experience at Hi-Hill Outdoor School. Hi-Hill was closed Oct. 10 because of heightened fire risk.

In order to accommodate all 5,800 fifth graders in the district schools, a half-week schedule is necessary. Students will attend either from Monday to Wednesday or from Wednesday to Friday.

As a result of the shortened schedule, the outdoor science fee schedule will also be cut in half. The fee for full-paying students is now $150; students paying reduced lunch fees are $80; and students receiving free lunch, $70.

Camp Oakes, located near Big Bear Lake and Highway 38, was established 50 years ago. It has hosted many student groups from the district.

Parents of fifth graders are being notified about the new outdoor science alternative by individual schools.

An additional outdoor school operated by the Orange County Department of Education is also available, if needed, to accommodate students from the Long Beach Unified School District.

Camperships donated by employees and other generous contributors will now allow hundreds of fifth graders to receive needed assistance this school year.