Life By Leadership | Annual California Elementary School OSS Trip

Annual California Elementary School OSS Trip

One of the most overlooked educational science programs is geared toward elementary schools and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That’s right. We’re diving right into Outdoor Science School (OSS) and what makes the annual elementary school trip to Pali Institute in California so important.

Outdoor Science School (OSS) is a four-day trip most students take as fifth graders. At OSS, school staff aided by camp counselors take kids to explore nature, conduct science experiments and stay in cabins. The cost-per-student for OSS is generally paid for by parents, school fundraisers, and the district. While this admittedly might be different for some districts, at the time of writing this article this was the case. for the Los Alamitos Unified School District.

OSS has been a district tradition for as long as anyone can remember. Throughout the year, approximately 600 fifth graders from six elementary schools will participate in this outdoor Education camp in late January and early February. It truly is an incredibly organized science camp trip. For this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, many of the California school districts have chosen Pali Institute in Running Springs as the outdoor education camp of choice.

Pali Institute, for those of you who have never heard of them, is the innovative outdoor program near California’s gorgeous Lake Arrowhead and San Bernardino mountains and they have offered educational experiences to all for years. So it’s no surprise that Pali Institute is the choice for most school districts looking to take advantage of both OSS and Pali.

I will say one thing of notice that Pali Institute’s Andy Wexler has commented on. When it comes to non-binary counselors, Pali Institute follows California state law and places its staff in the cabins they identify with. This has been and will continue to be a hot-button topic. Rest assured though, no matter what sex your child’s counselor identifies as they will be placed in the correct cabin overseeing the correct gendered campers as per state law. Can we really ask for anything more than that? The same people who fought for this law of equality, are the same people complaining about the non-binary counselors at Pali Institute, which we here at LA Family Magazine find to be a non-issue.

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