Outdoor Education in San Mateo County

Outdoor education is a learning experience for all involved.


My ten-year-old son, who attends had outdoor education last week.

At the Ware house, we all knew the week of outdoor education was going to be one where independence and self-reliance were tested.

We also felt the departure morning would be a difficult one emotionally. And it was.

There were long hugs, kisses, and cries of staying in Belmont. But with a little work, my wife was able to calm me down and our son headed off with his class.

Yes, I proved to be the weak link at departure time. My 10-year-old, my wife, and my other children handled the morning goodbye like it should be handled in a perfect world.

I, on the other hand, had trouble watching my youngest head off for what I believe I referred to as “an entire week in some far-off jungle.”

Okay, maybe it’s a stretch to call Jones Gulch a jungle or even think of it as far away, but this was the first time I had ever sent any of my children off at such a young age.

My 10-year-old had been on a few sleepovers and stayed overnight with relatives, but this was four nights away and I was terrified.

To be perfectly honest, when I said goodbye to my son, I was a model parent. I gave my son a hug, told him to be on his best behavior and have fun learning.

My wife shot me a knowing look. She could see what my son could not – that I was having trouble letting him go.

“Man, that was hard,” I said to my wife.

“I know,” she said, reassuring me.

“And you’re sure you packed enough stuff?” I asked.

“Everything on the list,” my wife said.

“Did you double check it?” I asked.

“He’ll be fine,” my wife assured me.

I looked at the list and tried to determine if the supplies would be sufficient to keep our son warm, safe, and happy.

“Take a deep breath,” my wife said.

How could I? My baby was going away. The first couple nights I slept restlessly, wondering how he was handling being away “all the way in La Honda.”

On Wednesday, I woke to find it had rained a little overnight. This sent me into another round of panic. I questioned my wife again, “You did pack his raincoat? Is he prepared for rain?”

My wife smiled. I think she enjoyed seeing me freak out. She said, “You do realize he isn’t alone in the woods?”

Of course, I realized this, but I worried nonetheless.

When our son returned home on Friday, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not that I let him know this. I welcomed him home – with a special meal – but didn’t want to show how much stress I had been under.

“Did you miss me?” my son asked.

“Were you gone all week?” I asked.

“Yes, Dad,” he said.

“I hardly noticed,” I said.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »