Another successful Open House came and went last Thursday night on April 2nd. According to the Activities Director Mrs. Delzer, Open House was as successful as it could be considering the fact that the Festival of Learning had just happened the night before. “For a lot of our families, it’s hard for them to commit to two nights, but I feel like for our other programs that were not featured at the Festival of Learning, it was a great opportunity for them to showcase their programs. I definitely think that the Middle School is having a very successful evening,” stated Mrs. Delzer near the end of the night.
Open House is a chance for families to explore and observe the potential programs that their children can participate in next year or are participating in currently. It is also a good opportunity for parents with prospective students to find out about Mesa’s selection of programs and its academics. Several of the programs that were showcased during Open House include Delta/MESA, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), the Academy of Creative Expression (ACE), the Environmental Marine Academy (EMA), and the Business Academy. The athletics coaches and boosters also had booths set up outside of the big gym. The dance team performed throughout the night in the dance room and many of the parents enjoyed watching them. The Virtual Enterprise students from the Business Academy set up a booth outside their classroom and explained their virtual business which will compete in New York. The Environmental Marine Academy let kids dissect sea urchins and squid. They also had a bearded dragon, named Godzilla, that kids could pet. Children were also allowed to play with salt water-powered cars that the academy students built. Delta had several science experiments on display for the parents to observe.
If they wanted, families were given tours of the whole school by high school ASB students at the beginning of the night. These tours gave parents a quick glimpse of what the school is like and how it is ran. Afterwards, parents could revisit any department or program that they wished to get more details. Both high school and middle school ASB members were positioned around campus to answer any questions parents might have. The night went smoothly and CMHS had a great Open House.
There is no better way to learn than by going on beautiful morning hikes, enjoying the perfect warm weather, the peaceful night sky, and by creating unforgettable moments with your friends. The annual Mojave Desert trip is the number one trip that EMA students always look forward to. This is the third year the trip has been put on by the Environmental Marine Academy (EMA) and the second camping trip of the 2014-15 school year. Mojave is the perfect place to relax, enjoy yourself, and hike beautiful trails. The Mojave National Preserve is considered a desert and it is about three to four hours away from Costa Mesa. The weather ranged from being in the high eighties at noon, to the low fifties at night. On EMA camping trips, students learn many useful skills, including building a proper campfire, lighting lanterns and portable stoves, using propane and a lighter, cooking easy meals, and pitching a tent. According to many students, camping is a great way to escape from the stress of school.
Twelve students and four chaperones (Ms. Upthegrove, Mrs. Rasmussen, Mrs. Rasmussen’s father, and Katie Chapel, a CMHS alumni) attended the trip. We departed on Thursday morning and arrived back home on Sunday afternoon. It was bittersweet leaving on Sunday morning, for many students were excited to shower, but at the same time, several wanted to stay since the Mojave was such a wonderful and fascinating place to be.
On Thursday, after setting up camp on our private campground, we explored the area surrounding our camp and climbed halfway up a nearby mountain. We saw many cacti and interesting plants and animals that can’t be found in Costa Mesa. The next day we hiked to the top of Teutonia Peak, which is a cinder cone (a cone formed around a volcanic vent by fragments of lava thrown out during eruptions). The view from the peak was breathtaking. The hike was about three miles round-trip. After hiking Teutonia Peak, we went on a nature walk along Rock Spring Loop Trail, which was guided by a park ranger. On Saturday, we visited a lava tube (an underground tunnel formed from hardened lava). Later that day, two students and our male chaperone, who is an experienced rock climber, set off to climb the top of the mountain near our campsite, which was a couple thousand feet above ground. While the three of them climbed the mountain, the rest of the campers hiked a three mile Rings Loop Trail. On this trail we hiked through a canyon, and in order to reach the end of the trail, we had to climb rocks that had built in rings on them to use as foot and hand holds. The Rings Trail was many campers’ favorite activity. We left Sunday Morning after packing up our campsite, and arrived safely in Costa Mesa at approximately 4:00 pm.
The next EMA camping trip will be to Big Bear at the end of May, and there will most likely be another trip to the Mojave Desert next year. The EMA camping trips are a great way to take a short break from school and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Written and photographed by Emma Chapel
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of The Equestrian.