Sunday, April 21, 2019

Westminster Woods, 2019



We just completed a fun, educational week of environmental education at Westminster Woods. We hiked in the morning, during the day, and in the evening. We went to the tide pools, got blasted in a sand storm, and we saw the tallest trees in the world. We took part in a campfire, watched some funny skits, and sang some great songs. We got to play in the gaga pit, on the playground, and had a lot of fun on the cargo net on Thursday evening. We had incredible naturalists who lead us through our adventures and taught us a ton of information. Best of all, we had incredible fun hanging out with our friends. 

This blog is your opportunity to tell everyone what you thought about your trip. As a writer, excite your reader about what you enjoyed and tell us why you liked those things. Pick as many topics as you wish about which to write, but be sure you explain WHY you enjoyed those things or didn't necessarily like those things. You need to avoid simply telling what you did on this trip; the task is to give proof for your opinions. You need not write about everything, just report the highlights. Think about how you will arrange your ideas, and develop a strong, interesting topic sentence for each paragraph. We all know which word not to use in the topic sentence, right? This is the type of writing where you van get descriptive.

As always, be sure your spelling and conventions are strong. Check that sentence structure, and be sure that you are communicating with precision and accuracy. 


Have fun with this and let's see how many comments we can get! Be sure to check out each other's writings, and let's inform our readers all over the world about our incredible week at Westminster Woods.

84 comments:

  1. i wanna see who is first, lol.

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  2. I enjoyed my wondrous Westminster Woods time. My favorite parts being, the cargo net, the food, and gaga ball. The cargo net was bouncy, fluid, and playful. The best part was playing with my friends. When the naturalists bounced on the net, we all shook crazily. The especially fun time when my hat fell into the creek and the currents washed it away. R.I.P hat. The food was also amazing. The chefs made great food all through the week. The best day was “Taco Wednesday.” Playing at recess made me hungry. Of course my favorite recreation time game would be the magnificent, spectacular, gaga ball. If you have experienced the time when your friend hits you with a ball and says, “your out!” If you have, you already no about gaga ball. The time, and place to be if you like getting hit with a ball, or hitting other people with a ball. If someone won, everybody would rush into the pit screaming… “let’s play again!” The competitive level was high enough for hardly and congrats sent to the winner. In all, Westminster Woods was the best experience of my life.

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    1. R.I.P Hat! (: I agree, gaga ball was really competitive from what I could tell, and i only played like once or twice!

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    2. I am glad that you enjoyed your time at Westminster Woods, Etai. Best experience of your life rates very high!

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    3. Jinjoo/ FernpeltMay 5, 2019 at 8:39 PM

      I like how you explained everything you liked at Westminster Woods. Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Westminster Woods was an unforgettable experience. I went tidepooling, I hiked, I built a check dam, I hiked in a redwood forest, got stuck in a sandstorm, and more. I had so much fun, and it was a great four days.


    On the first day, not a whole lot happened. My favorite part of the day was arriving at camp. The excitement of arriving was something I’ll never forget. The sight of the sign for Westminster made the van all the girls were in erupt in a frenzy of joy. I felt like I had been waiting for that moment my whole life, and it was finally here! That’s something I will never be able to experience again. Another one of my favorite parts of the day was the campfire. We heard stories, sang songs, and witnessed great skits. It was really entertaining, and I still remember most of what we sang. I liked it that much! The first day I got a feel for the camp, and I knew I would have a great time.

    On the second day, we had an amazing time in Armstrong Redwoods. There was a lot of activity that day. It was tons of fun, and the part I enjoyed the most was when we had to cross little streams in order to get up to a ridge where there was a beautiful view of the forest. I loved walking through the crystal clear water and hearing small splashes for every step I took. It was also neat to see all of the huge redwoods. Seeing them towering up so high, I couldn’t help but feel so tiny and insignificant. The last kind of big thing I did that day was, I kissed a banana slug! At camp, we have this thing called the banana slug club, where you have to kiss a banana slug to become a part of the club, and I did! It was really cool and pretty slimy too. I had a ton of fun that day.


    The third day, we had quite an adventure at the beach. This was my favorite day, especially because I love the ocean. We had a great low tide for tidepooling. We saw so many cool animals. I learned about peanut worms, which were an animal I had no idea even existed until that day. I thought it was so cool seeing and touching sea anemones both opened and closed. It was also super cool holding and touching sea stars. I loved all the crabs and the way it felt holding them. After tidepooling, we went to Goat Rock Beach, where we were unexpectedly thrust into furious winds hurling sand at us with every step we took. Just when we thought we couldn’t go on, we found shelter! An old log became our apartment complex. We had come to Goat Rock to see sea lions and harbor seals, and our log/apartment complex gave us a perfect view of the river. We were so relieved that we had found shelter that when we settled in to learn about sea lions and harbor seals, we were astounded to see heads pop out of the water. They were harbor seals, and they were about only 50 feet away from us! It was incredible! I had never seen a harbor seal so close up in the wild before! They were adorable, and they made me feel recharged after we had such a hard time in the sandstorm that day. I went back to camp feeling happy on day three.


    On the fourth day, I was determined to have fun. I was sad camp had to end, but I wanted to make the final day last as long as possible. We spent the day down by the creek that ran through camp. Not only did our naturalist, Petunia, who deserves a shout out for being the best, take us to see some of the endangered salmon living in the creek, but he also let us build a check dam, a dam that keeps sediment out of the creek. Also, Petunia, if you’re reading this, is the dam still there? Anyway, that was super fun. We directly improved the environment at camp, and all the while building something. On the fourth day at camp, I had a lot of fun, and left my mark at camp.

    Westminster Woods was an unforgettable experience, and there are no bad memories when I think of it. From seeing trees that were over 300 feet tall to holding crabs, building a dam, and being nearly 50 feet away from harbor seals,
    Westminster woods was amazing, and I really am a lucky person to have gotten to be a part of this amazing educational experience.

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    1. Great job Sean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    2. Sorry I meant to put that under Sean's blog

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    3. wesley/orange kittyMay 5, 2019 at 10:45 AM

      Why nari just why

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    4. Nassali/ Morning OwlMay 24, 2019 at 6:35 PM

      Very in depth! Awesome!

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  4. What a great blog, Aleeza! You have let your reader know exactly what you thought and felt all the way through the writing. I couldn't wait to see what was next in your writing. This was a fun piece to read!

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  5. Great job Aleeza!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You added so much detail which made the piece even more fantastic.

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  6. Westminster Woods was an experience I will never forget with its fun, exciting, adventures. I think Westminster Woods is the best place I’ve been to. I especially liked the delicious food and awesome naturalists. Gaga ball was so fun and sometimes if I was lucky, I would get in the top three. In Gaga ball, we were in this pit with walls and we were trying to hit the ball away from our feet. The Cargo net was really fun. We tried to stand up while Mr. LaMarr shook the net. We went on the Cargo net for our night hike and our naturalist, Redwing, taught us an illusion and about night vision. One of the foods that we had over there was the coffee cake. It was pure sugar and it was so good. One of the highlights was tidepooling at Shell Beach. We saw many sea stars and hermit crabs. One of my friends found over 15 crabs. He lifted a rock and there was like five crabs crawling all over. I learned a new animal that I never knew existed. It is called the peanut worm. After Shell Beach, we went to Goat Rock. There was a sandstorm there and it felt like hail when it hit you. The campfire was really fun. We sang songs and told stories and poems. The poem was REALLY funny. Another highlight was Armstrong Redwoods. It was so shady because of all the Coast redwoods. We picked redwood sorrels and ate them. They were really sour. Westminster Woods is the best field trip I've taken.

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    1. I am glad you liked your week and that you won't forget this trip. Westminster Woods is a great place to spend some time. I liked our cargo net time on Thursday, too! Armstrong was fun; tan oak leaves are the BEST!!!

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    2. Great job Sean!I definitely agree with you; the poem so funny.

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    3. the poem WAS really funny

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  7. Faisal/StarflightMay 3, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    My Favorite Parts of Westminster Woods

    Westminster Woods was one of the best experiences for me in my entire life. I did a lot of new and fun activities. I played, hiked, went tidepooling, and many other things. I had a lot of favorite parts. Here are some of them.

    One of my favorite parts was when we went to Armstrong Redwoods. We got to hike four miles! It was very fun. We got to see a root that looked like dinosaur. We identified trees and ate a very yummy lunch. We hiked up for a long time, when we got to the top. We had a very great view, and then we went down some very steep hills.

    Another one is when the first day we got to Westminster woods we had a campfire. It was very fun. Our naturalists did funny skits, one was the sound of nature. Another about a pink gorilla playing tag. There were also very funny songs. We laughed and sang a long. It was very fun.

    The third one is when we went to the tidepools. We got to see ochre stars, sea anemones, betstars, chiton, barnacles, and crabs. We got to touch the sea anemones which felt very weird. We also got to climb from rock to rock.We also got a lot of sand in our boots.

    The fourth one when me, Eli, Cassius, and Mr. La Marr were on the cargo net. Me, Eli, and Cassius were trying to get from one end to another while Mr. La Marr shook the cargo net. It was really hard and fun.We fell a lot and tried to stand up while Mr. La Marr shook the net. Soon other people came including Edan, Jinjoo, and Nari.

    The last one is gaga ball. I got to play against a lot of people including some of my classmates. It was very competitive. I never got first place, but I have gotten second place. We got to hit each others legs with a ball. Some of us got to play with Chivo or some chaperones. I have gotten out numerous times, but everyone's a winner. Those were only a few of the parts that I liked a lot about Westminster Woods.



    By Faisal/Starflight






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    1. Sounds like you really enjoyed your week, Faisal. It was a great week for us. What did you think about that sandstorm?

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    2. Great job Faisal!

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    3. Faisal/StarflightMay 4, 2019 at 3:14 PM

      The sandstorm was crazy and fun, but I didn't want to write it in the blog.

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    4. Amiyah/Water WindtailMay 5, 2019 at 6:48 PM

      pure evil!

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  8. My experience at Westminster woods was exquisite! It was exquisite because I played on the cargo net, I went tide pooling, I got to play gaga ball, and I got to build a special type of dam. We built the dam for the coho salmon since they are in danger. I would also say that my experience was amazing when I was tide pooling because I saw lot of creatures.

    My time at the tide pools was amazing. This was amazing because I have been tide pooling before but I didn’t find half the things I found this trip. Also I studied sea anemones an I actually saw a lot that were open. My friend was finding crabs all over the place. I got to hold an ocher star and a bat star.

    On the same day as the tide pools my hiking group got caught in a sandstorm and we were determined to find a harbor seal or a sea lion. So we went on and we found shelter. Once my group found shelter Petunia, our naturalists, started talking about harbor seals and sea lions we actually got see them! Once we were done Petunia let us roll down the sandy dunes which was really fun. At the end of our time at Goat Rock Mr. Lamarr even let keep a stick!

    When we got back to camp me, Mr. Lamarr, and a few other people went up to the cargo net early and played rough. This was a fun experience because I have never really been on a cargo net before. I was trying to stand right in front of Mr. Lamarr but I kept falling on top of people. The same shoe fell into the creek twice during my time at the cargo net.

    Over all my time at Westminster Wood was awesome. I had zero moment that were bad and not remembered. At the tide pools I found a lot of different types of sea stars. I kept a stick from Goat Rock. Lastly I went on the cargo net and my shoes fell off. All of these thing I had a blast on; Westminster Woods is one of my favorite places to be!

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    1. Good job, Cassius! You show a lot of your own thoughts about the trip! I liked our beach day; the apartment complex was awesome! Fun times on the cargo net that evening, too!

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    2. I forgot to put my nature name it is Redwood!

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  9. wesley/orange kittyMay 5, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    I personally think that Westminster Woods is at the top of my, “Do again trips in school.” I would do this trip again because it was the funnest trip of fourth, third, and second grade. My favorite thing to do was to get on the cargo net with Mr. Lamarr and our naturalist to bounce us around and try to stand up. I thought this was fun because a friend of mine keep losing his shoes and just took them off so he would stop having to go get his shoes. I also learned a lot from Westminster Woods. Like how big a redwood can get in person and that poison oak can climb a redwood. The naturalists were amazing because they taught us a lot and that made me happy to learn that much in one week. Finally, the fact that we got to see the Armstrong redwoods and Shell Beach was mind boggling and amazing.
    The Armstong Redwoods is an amazing place and it would be a disaster if the next generation could not see the redwoods of today. There are many diferant ways that we should save the redwoods. One way is to buy a piece of land with redwoods on it and then give it to the state, county, or fedral government with the intent of it getting turned into a state or national park. This pravents the logging companies couldedent log the redwoods.

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    1. wesley/orange kittyMay 5, 2019 at 10:53 AM

      who is the first to comment?

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    2. I am! You have a great first sentence, Wesley. It clearly sets up the opportunity to explain what is so great about this trip. I am happy that you enjoyed your week at camp.

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    3. I like your blog Wesley!

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  10. The week I had at Westminster Woods was awesome! My favorite part was recreation. At recreation my favorite part was the cargo net; it was so fun. On the second day we went to Armstrong Redwoods and I ate some redwood sorrel which tasted like a granny smith apple. Some of the sorrel was purple on the bottom of their leaves, but when one held it up to the light the purple disappeared. My hiking group also got to go on the cargo net on the night hike and we ate some wintergreen lifesavers when it got dark enough and they sparked. I thought the cargo net in the dark was a bit scary but really fun, since you couldn’t really see where the holes were! Another thing I really liked was tide pooling; there were so many anemone, and I’ve never seen that many in one place before. After we went tidepooling we went to Goat Rock and there was a sandstorm and we couldn’t find any shelter so the sand got everywhere. The sandstorm hitting my skin hurt, and it was hard to get out of my hair. Campfire was also super fun. The naturalists did some skits and we sang some songs and then one of the naturalists said a poem that was really funny and it made everyone laugh. The skits and songs were so much fun that I didn’t mind how cold it was there! On the last day we looked at things under microscopes and our naturalist put some of the muck from the creek under one and it pretty interesting because one could see things moving around in it. Westminster Woods was really fun and I hope that I get to go there again.

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    1. Sounds like you had a good week, Sofia. That sandstorm was incredible! Isn't it amazing what can be found in "muck"?

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  11. Westminster Woods was amazing, in fact, everything was amazing. The car ride alone was fun surprisingly. We sung a lot of songs, played games, told stories, and much more. Honestly, being in a cramped car brought closer together in many ways. This was only the beginning of it. Of course we grow even closer than that since we were going to spend an entire week at school. I had imagined a lot to come during that week, but it brought so much more. We found so many animals in so many places. Like the tidepools for example, there were lots of crabs, different sea stars, sea anemones, and even an urchin. Plus, we could have a haircut from a ochre star! After the tidepools we went to a beach. For a while we just hung out by a tree and got to go in it. The we headed down to the actual beach and the was a sandstorm! We found dome dunes and ended up rolling down them. It was fun, but pretty painful. Opposite from the tidepools and sand, there were the forest hikes. The air was incredible, fresh and clean. The forest was beautiful! There was one point in particular where my group to find a spot in the forest and wright down our thoughts. This really is the exact opposite of the sandstorm since there is only a gentle, light, cool, breeze. I had a great naturalist, Redwing. He lead through all these forests and taught us amazing things. He wasn’t the only one there, though. Petunia, another naturalist, was equally as amazing and taught amazing things, too. They were funny, good teachers, kind hearted, and so many more positive things. Overall I was so happy I got them. Mr.LaMarr would join hikes too and lead us on morning hikes himself. He seemed just as good as the others with a similar personality. Once when we were on a hike we found salamanders! It was so cool, we got to hold them! On the topic of the creatures we found, I was surprised at how many banana slugs we found in all different shapes and sizes. Kissing and licking them was a bit...weird, but worth it. The woods held so many surprises, but so did the dining halls. I expected the food to not be very good. More like greasy fast food. But it was so good! We got food that I would normally have at home more often, making me feel more at home. Plus we got the really nice desserts which my family doesn’t always the time to make. I would just get a chocolate bar. But over there we’d get things like churros! But really, the best thing of all was being with my classmates! They are all amazing people and friends, they make me laugh, are really nice, and so much more. Spending a week with them gave many chances to once again spend more time with old friends and even when I got back I spent more time with them. We got to go through many things together and it made the experience a whole lot better. Like the cargo net! That was so cool! When people would have the challenge of standing up while Mr. LaMarr would bounce us! That was amazing. This is the point of Westminster Woods! It was so amazing. I seriously can’t say how happy I am now!! Everything was amazing and one of the best experiences of my life. I am so happy that I had the honour of spending a week at the one only Westminster Woods.

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  12. You did a great job of giving your ideas, Selena. I agree that spending time with friends is one of the BEST parts of camp. All of it is so fun, but doing all those activities with good friends makes it all even better! I am glad you enjoyed your experience at Westminster Woods.

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  13. While I was at Armstrong redwoods, there were hundreds of different trails to choose from. One trail my family and I went on was kind of long. On the trail there was a small river we had to go across too.Jumping over parts of the small river was fun, as well as seeing two banana slugs on the way back. Seeing the banana slugs was awesome because it was my first time seeing a banana slug, and for the whole day I was looking for one. Jumping over parts of a small river was also fun because there were rocks I could step on then get across then back and forth. Also I got a little wet too, which can be fun as well!

    At shell beach there were so many shells on big rocks. I saw barnacles, and saw cool pebbles too. It was really fascinating when I saw the big bunches of large shells because I have never seen so many big shells in gigantic groups. I also thought picking up pretty pebbles was fun. It was like a treasure hunt except the treasure was cool pebbles. There were also sea anemones with sand on them beside the barnacles and big shells. When I touched it with a stick it would close in a little bit. It looked really cool when we did that.

    At another beach, there was a shallow river that we could go cross to get to the other side. The first time I did it I thought it wasn’t fun but after I did it many times, I eventually thought it was fun. My sisters and I also had a fun race across the beach but when we ran our feet hurt because the sand had big pebbles in it. The sand at the edge of the shallow river was kind of like a 2 inch tall cliff. When my sisters and I stood on the edge of that sand, it would go in the water in big clumps.Doing that was really fun too because when the sand fell in the water, it became super squishy. There was also a funny moment before we left. My sisters and I were going to have a race to see who would be on the other side of the shallow river first. When my sisters took their time I actually ran across the river and when I was right in front of the “finish line” I tripped and was dripping wet! After that we went to a motel. It was also kinda exiting there because on the TV that was there, we got to see a movie while laying on the beds in front of the TV. My trip to Armstrong redwoods and two beaches was awesome!

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    1. Good job of explaining your trip, Emily. We missed you at camp with us, but I am really glad that you got to go to the places the class visited. It sounds like you had a fun time and saw some great things!

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  14. Amiyah/Water WindtailMay 5, 2019 at 6:52 PM

    My time at Westminster Woods was remarkably amazing and fun. It was much different than our time in Sacramento because we do not have beautiful, tall redwood trees like Westminster woods does.
    Westminster Woods really opened my eyes and showed me what it's like to just let go of electronics and be in nature. Even if one tried to use their phone, they wouldn’t get any service. It felt really nice to just let go of the modern times and go back to the time when tv didn’t exist. We humans are far too dependent on our phones, tablets, computers and so on, that we miss out on the beauty of nature.
    Another thing I enjoyed was the staff. The environment is so important to them and it is really sweet they want to spread that across the world. People like the Westminster Woods staff that care about trees should be the protectors of the redwoods. Naturalists want to share redwoods and educate people on the lifestyle of them. So I wanna thank our classes naturalists Petunia and Red Wing. You both were so awesome! I had fun with both of you.
    I really enjoyed learning about the coast redwoods because they are an important part of human and animal survival since they release oxygen for us to breath. Unfortunately, coast redwoods are in danger of going extinct if logging companies continue to only care about money. The state and national parks are really important because they protect the last of the redwoods.
    I enjoyed all the amazing sights and sounds with my friends. I enjoyed this because it made the car ride more fun and it was nice to see my friends enjoying themselves as much as I was. What else was fun were the tide pools when I found a bunch of cool sea creatures like sea stars and hermit crabs. I held five bat stars and an ocher star which was a first for me and an unforgettable moment.
    This experience was amazing and I hope to do it all over again someday.

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    1. I agree fully with your thought on it being nice to leave electronics behind. Now, the challenge is to do that when they are available! Good perspective here, Amiyah!

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  15. Westminster Woods was the best field trip I have ever gone to. I had so much fun with my friends the week that we were at Westminster Woods. I learned so many interesting facts about coast redwoods. I didn’t expect them to be that tall. The naturalists that we got were the best naturalists ever. They taught the hiking groups many thing about coast redwoods. My hiking group’s naturalist was Redwing, and he taught me so much about redwoods. Petunia, the other naturalist was wonderful. My friends have told me that Petunia went on amazing adventures.

    On the day that the class arrived at Westminster Woods, we just had a tour around the camp. I didn’t think that the camp would be that big. I really liked the cargo net where people got to bounce me around. It was also fun because I got to be fifteen feet off the ground when there was a stream under me. It was also fun on the first day of Westminster Woods because I got to taste different foods than I usually get to. The foods had different seasoning and sauces to them which made them very delicious. I was excited to hear that there would be campfire after dinner. It turned out that campfire was amazing! There were fun stories and songs that were very entertaining to me.

    Going to the Armstrong Redwood forest was interesting and cool. Armstrong redwoods was cool because I got to see the height of tall coast redwoods. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the height of the coast redwoods. The height of them were so tall that I couldn’t see some of the tops of the redwood trees. Armstrong Redwoods was interesting because the way that the redwood forest was saved was not how I expected it to be. The facts that Redwing taught me were interesting too. Redwing told me about a type of mushroom that could clear smallpox. That was interesting because I didn’t know that there was any mushroom that could do that.

    Going to the tide pools at Shell Beach was a big, delightful day. I saw amazing critters that I was probably never going to see again. There was one point when an ochre star was eating a mussel It was interesting to see how the animal would eat the big mussel. I got to see mossy chiton. I could actually see kelp on it. There was dazzling animals that were very interesting to see. Each and every animal at Shell Beach had unique things about them. After I had fun at Shell Beach, I went to Goat Rock. There was a yummy lunch and then Redwing’s hiking group went to go see seals. When I went down to go see the seals it was so windy that we got stuck in a major sandstorm. The sandstorm was very strong. There was a big sand dune that my hiking group got to roll down. That was very fun. There was a lot of sand pelting at my heels. It was a very interesting day while I was at Goat Rock. However my hiking group did not get to see the seals which is unfortunate. Seeing new critters made my day wonderful.

    The last day at Westminster Woods was a day where I packed up. It was so fun just being at Westminster Woods. I know that there are memories that I will never ever forget. Westminster Woods was the best overnight field trip I have ever gone to. It was a very interesting place that I hope I will get to go to again.

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    1. I am really glad that you enjoyed your trip to Westminster Woods, Nari. that sandstorm was quite the challenge. I sure wish we could have all gotten to the water, but at least we had an adventure!

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  16. All the fun began after the two hour drive to Westminster Woods.
    The whole week was very fun but my favorite thing was probably going tidepooling. I liked it the most because I saw things I had never seen before; I got to see Sea Anemones, Chitons, Sea Stars, Bat and Ochre stars, Acorn Barnacles and I got to hold several crabs, small and big alike. It was really fun to be able to touch all these animals, and be with them, and be in their environment. Once we had to leave everybody was sad that we had to go. The most exciting part of the week was when we were in a sandstorm at Goat Rock. It was a stressful walk, but we found shelter under a tree and saw some harbor seals come really close to us. It was all worth it though because we got to see the harbor seals lying on the beach far away from us. The seals were my favorite part because they were beautiful and very cute. We got to roll down a sandy hill but I didn’t like that part. Sand got everywhere on my body and I was still spitting out sand by the time we left. Dinner and breakfast were great but if not for our wonderful naturalists, Redwing and Petunia, the week would not have been as much fun. Speaking of fun, there was a game called Gaga Ball where we had to hit the ball at other people and it made me feel very exhilarating. The redwood hike was exhilarating as well but we got to see so many things that were beautiful. We got a fantastic view from a very high ridge and that was my favorite part of that day because it was so magnificent. The definite worst part of the trip though, was leaving. I had so many great memories and a book to remember Westminster Woods by. In my opinion, Westminster Woods was one of my favorite times!

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    1. Excellent blog, Makhai! Your ideas fit very nicely together, and they tell the story of your week well. I agree about rolling down a sandy hill-it doesn't sound like fun! I am glad you enjoyed your week at camp!

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  17. Jinjoo/FernpeltMay 5, 2019 at 8:35 PM

    Westminster Woods was a great educational field trip. I wish I could stay on that field trip for a least two or three more weeks. It was amazing, fun, and had a lot of adventures that I loved. A really cool animal that I had never seen before was a banana slug. They are sticky and slimy in my opinion. Even though banana slugs are sticky and slimy, they are really cool.

    On morning hikes, we found many amazing creatures. Under rocks we found salamanders, some of which were poisonous. We found more banana slugs and a dead mouse.

    On Wednesday my group went to the Armstrong Redwoods. The day at the Armstrong Redwoods was a great day for learning. I learned that the redwoods only let lichen grow on them, not moss. I also learned that there is a type of mushroom that if one carves something in it, it stays there forever. The Armstrong Redwoods were so peaceful because there was so much in that forest that I didn’t want to leave. Being in a forest with only the noises of shoes scraping the ground, birds singing in the treetops, and the rushing noise of the creek was comforting to me. I can’t get that sweet noise in the city, one can only get that noise in a calm, peaceful setting.

    Thursday we went to the tide pools. This day was my favorite because there were so many animals that I did not know about. On this day I learned about them. My awesome naturalist said what the animals were to me. Some of the animals I didn’t know were ocher stars, a type of sea anemone, and a type of big crab. Some animals I saw that I did know were sea urchins, acorn barnacles, sea stars, and anemones. Later we were hit by a sand storm. I didn’t like the sand storm because I got sand in my clothes, hair, and mouth.

    That night, my hiking group went to the cargo net and did some optical illusions. I did not know about these optical illusions and when my group did them, I freaked out. Since the only light was coming from the stars, we soon had night vision. We got a partner and then looked into each other's eyes, their face soon disappeared. It was freaky and cool at the same time. After that, we chewed lifesavers that sparked in our mouth. That was awesome because I never knew about lifesavers that sparked in ones mouth.

    Overall, Westminster Woods was a great, amazing, fun field trip. Going to Westminster Woods taught me many things that I did not know before.

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    1. Excellent job, Jinjoo! I like your sentence about the sound in the redwood forest. I sure wish that sound was here in Sacramento. Your description of it is outstanding. I am glad you got to see and do things you've never had the chance to do before.

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  18. Alejandro/VultureMay 6, 2019 at 2:56 PM

    Westminster Woods Experience Blog

    Westminster Woods was a beautiful and extraordinary experience for me. I also think this trip was fun and educational. I learned a lot about different subjects. On the first afternoon, we walked and explored around the camp, saw the cargo net, wrote in our journal, and then had a very fun and entertaining campfire. We sang songs, the adults did some activities which were quite humorous and we had a good laugh. I loved this day because it was filled with lots of new sites and educational activities. We all learned things, but we were still entertained. We learned about scat but still were entertained. It was a very exciting day. Overall I think day one was awesome.

    One of my favorite things was waking up in the morning surrounded by the redwood trees. I felt peaceful. After that, we got to visit Armstrong Redwoods, a beautiful park with redwoods even bigger than the ones at camp. I loved this because I never imagined trees so big. I also learned that the park was called Armstrong Redwoods because a family made a sacrifice and instead of making their family billionaires, they conserved the trees, and let people see them instead of people seeing open and flat land only. I think this is a special thing, and I personally love this family for what they did. They sacrificed being billionaires through lumbering, which was very generous of them.
    Another special moment was when the group found some beautiful salamanders. One was poisonous; the other wasn’t. The poisonous one was far larger. It had a orange-red stripe across the back, and was a greyish black on the rest of the body. This was a very special moment because I had never seen salamanders before, nor held them, and these were very unique. When I was holding them, I felt very attached to nature, and the feeling of a poisonous salamander in my hand, was very liberating. After hiking some more and we tried to reach a waterfall spot, the bridge we had to cross was off-limits so we were forced to turn back. I was disappointed with this unfortunate event. I really wish we could have gone to the waterfall, but I'm ok with it. When back at camp, we had a good dinner, and went to bed. I fell asleep almost instantly because I was exhausted after the long day.

    TO BE CONTINUED.....

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  19. Alejandro/VultureMay 6, 2019 at 2:57 PM

    The third day we had an amazing day planned for us! We were going to go visit the tide pools! I was very excited. When we got there, everyone started searching like crazy and found lots of creatures very quickly. I found lots of crabs, gigantic sea stars, a chiton, and hermit crabs, and lots of sea anemones of different colors. Some were green, blue, and red, we saw some with their stomachs out eating some other sea creatures, and I touched the stomach. I had never had an experience such as this before, so I really loved seeing these special creatures for the first time in their natural habitat. Then we left Shell Beach and went to Goat Rock to try to see some seals. But, we were ambushed by a strong and painful sandstorm, so we had to retreat into safety after having some fun rolling down sand hills. Redwing let us use this time of pain as an advantage and let us roll down a hill of sand, which was fun. It was clear that mother nature did not want us here at the time. That night we did optical illusions and learned how to fight them off. We looked for a long time at the other person’s face, and we soon didn’t see the other’s face. Then we shake our head to see the face again. This was very enjoyable.

    Sadly, we found ourselves on our last couple of hours. We joined our naturalist Redwing at a spot below a bridge, and started searching for animals that we could put into a big cup. Everyone found lots. There were many water gliders which were easy to catch, and we found tons of salamanders, and then we found one about the size of my arm. At the microscope lab, we observed the creatures under the microscopes. This was very interesting. This was interesting because who knew that animals could be so small. Finally, when we were done with looking at the microscopic animals, the whole class gathered at the creek. Everyone found spots, and we all wrote wishes to improve the world. Then we added a promise to accomplish that wish. After everyone shared their wishes and promises, Redwing set some paper bags in a kind of boat shape made of tree bark, and lit the bags on fire. Soon, we put all our wishes and promises into the fire, and let it go downstream. It was a very hope filled moment, since everyone had good wishes, and I for one loved it and thought it was a calm ending. After this we went back to camp. Unfortunately, our time at Westminster Woods was over. I said bye to everyone. I was glad and very grateful to be able to come to see this amazing part of the world, but I was still sad when I knew we had to leave. These four days will be cherished in my memory for the rest of my lifetime.

    I give my fullest appreciation and love to Chivo, Lion, Turkey, White Bear, Pumpkin, Redwing, Petunia, and all the people that work at that camp. I will always remember them and the experiences that they shared with us…

    Written by Alejandro/Vulture

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    1. Great job, Alejandro! You have told a great amount of information, and you've included your own thoughts about the activities that you did. I am glad you enjoyed your trip. No mention of the sockless hike at Armstrong? :)

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    2. ALEJANDRO/VULTUREMay 6, 2019 at 9:50 PM

      I THOUGHT OF WRITING IT IN, BUT MY PARENTS SAID IT WASN;T NEEDED NOR FUNNY. LOL :) I THINK IT WAS FUNNY. THX FOR THE COMMENT

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    3. Oh no, this is your blog, like I say in class. You get to write what you want! You're the owner of the piece!

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  20. Edan/Woody the RaccoonMay 6, 2019 at 4:49 PM

    Westminster Woods is the most astounding place I have ever been to. It is filled with so many fun things like a cargo net, a gaga ball pit, a climbing wall, a huge play structure, and so much more. Campfire was so much fun. We got to sing songs and do dances. The songs and dances were very creative.

    One one day we got to go to a Coast redwood forest. We got to go inside of a burnt out Coast redwood tree and see trees that have fallen. It is so cool how a coast redwood tree can not rot away quickly. The redwood forest was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Going to the redwood forest was not the only fun thing that we did there. The next day we went tide pooling, and I found a bunch of really cool tide pool critters. I found sea anemones, sea stars, a chiton, and more. I even got to hold two baby crabs in my hand. It was fun carrying the little crabs in my hand. That fun day was not over yet. We went to goat rock to see if we could see the harbor seals. We broke up into two hiking groups led by are amazing naturalists. When I say amazing naturalists I mean outstanding naturalists. Both hiking groups got pelted by sand because the wind was blowing so hard that it was picking up the sand. It felt like I was being pelted by rocks all over. Sadly only one out of two hiking groups got to see the harbor seals. I was not in the group that got to see the harbor seals, but my group got to roll down a huge sand dune. Even though I did not get to see the harbor seals I still had a great time at goat rock.

    The night before we left Westminster Woods my hiking group got to go up to the cargo net and do optical illusions in the dark. I learned that if you look at someone directly in the eye when it is dark out, their head disappears. To be honest it was a little creepy watching one of my classmates’ head disappear. The optical Illusions were very fascinating.

    The day we left Westminster Woods was fun. We got to find things down by the creek and put them under a microscope. It was amazing to see things move under a microscope that you cannot see move with your own naked eye. Finally, before we left camp, we all wrote down a wish and a promise. We then took the pieces of paper that we wrote a wish and promise on and put them on a wooden boat. Then we lit the paper on fire and let the boat flow downstream. As our papers burned it became part of the atmosphere. It became part of nature. This made me feel like I was finally part of nature.

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  21. Good information, Edan. I really like your closing and your final sentence. It looks like you had a good week. I wish you could have seen the harbor seals, but the day sounds like it was still a good one!

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  22. I was very excited; my class was about to go to Westminster Woods! All the girls in my class rode in one car. When we reached the redwood forest, a deer ran in front the car. It was shocking when we jolted to a stop so that we didn’t run over the deer. Everyone was watching carefully now. I felt as though it wasn’t happening, like the redwoods around me were a dream. When we arrived, I saw the ferns. That day changed my understanding of ferns. There were so many different ferns, none looked alike. That day also changed my understanding of cold. It was midday, and I was in the sun, but the temperature change was insane. It was freezing. Later I changed my opinion, but I hadn’t adjusted yet. Soon, we were setting up our cabin. The cabin was awesome! The bunk beds were private enough to to do private stuff, but open enough to talk to people. Out on the peaceful patio, I could hear the flowing creek. The first day was to short! I wanted more time to see everything.


    On Wednesday, my class went to Armstrong Redwoods. In my mind, I understood that coast redwoods are huge, but I wasn’t expecting them to feel as big as they looked. The trees felt like wooden boards building a cabin around me. Some were larger than others. A few stumps had redwood sorrel growing on them, like there was a party of people wearing green and purple hats. Eventually, we arrived at a goose pen. The goose pen’s entrance was small, and the bark was growing over it, so I lay down and wriggled nervously into the darkness. I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to stand up. I reached up, into blackness. The dark air made me think of thick, black smoke, swirling out of the tree. I thought of a thick layer of ash coating the burnt trunk. I could picture the burnt bark falling to the roots and enriching the soil. I could imagine the other trees’ roots using the ash. I stood up, think of a scale, tipping back and forth, trying to decide which item is heavier. Is a fire good or bad? Without fire, populations could grow too much and stress the forest. When we left that tree, I wondered if I would ever see it again. When we saw other goose pens, I imagined smoke pouring out again. It seemed less threatening now.


    On Thursday, my class got caught in a sandstorm. The wind roared, throwing sand off the hill and straight at my hiking group. It stung! I ducked, excited at the thought of charging through the waves of sand. As we tried to walk across the beach, I leaned into the wind, wondering who else was fighting the sandstorm. Was a hermit crab wishing the wind would hurry up and set him down? Was a sea anemone clinging to its back thinking “I am going to die?” I tried to focus on fighting the wind. Finally, I saw shelter ahead of me. A huge log was laying over many rocks. I couldn’t see how many through the cloud of sand. Under the log, a small burst of sand pushed through, and I panicked. If sand could push through, would it bury us? No, I realized, that much sand couldn’t get through. We found a cove that the sand couldn’t reach where we could see the Russian River. The seals put on a show, and it was nice to sit and rest. I was exhausted


    On Thursday night, my hiking group went up on a ridge. I felt sad. Tomorrow, we would leave. That night we learned about stars. Then we made sparks in our mouths by chewing mint-o-green lifesavers! I could taste the smoke! I was exhausted when I got back to the cabin.


    On Friday, we had coffee cake. It was very, very, very delicious! The we had a solemn ceremony. It was sad to have to leave the forest. It was also odd to think I had met two great naturalists and I might never see them again. It was a great week!

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    1. What a great piece, Carrie! It's like each paragraph is a little story, and you've written it so that the reader can't wait to read what's next! Your thoughts are excellent in letting the reader know what you thought all along the way. (I thought that the coffee cake was very, very, very delicious, too!)

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    2. Wowie Carrie! That is amazing. You are through with your thoughts and tell it like a story making it stand out from aaalll others! Very cool! And yes, the coffee cake was very, very, very, delicious!( Yep, that's trend)

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  23. Carrie or Bat Star!

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  24. I had a great time at Westminster Woods. It was really fun and exciting. It was really fun because I got the opportunity to
    learn new things, and explore the redwood forest. I got to see things that I had never seen before. I got to play on the cargo net, and see goose pens. I heard funny jokes, riddles, poems, and sayings. Westminster Woods was really awesome!

    I had a lot of fun at the tide pools. It was really fun because I got to hold bat stars and look at ochre stars. I got to see
    hermit crabs and sea snails. I saw bigger crabs and sea anemone. I held little worms and saw chitons. I saw some sort of blue millipede thing that was relatively small, but grew relatively big. I loved this because I had never seen or even heard of some
    of these creatures. The tide pools had amazing creatures.

    The tide pools hurt as much as they were cool. There was a sandstorm at the place we went to see the seals. People were screaming
    when we got to the sand. Sand was being hurled at us at twenty miles per hour in all directions. When we finally got to shelter I hurt all over and sand was in places that it shouldn’t have been in. The seals were curious and came very close to us while we
    laid down underneath the big log that was our shelter. This was a crazy experience that I loved. The redwood forest was really cool. It was really cool because I got to see, and go inside goose pens. I got to see reiterated redwoods and feel a madrone trees;
    they are always cold. This was super cool because I got to see the tallest trees on earth, some over three hundred feet tall and over one thousand years old! The redwoods were really fascinating!

    My time at Westminster Woods was the most magnificent time in my life yet. I got to see probably the most wonderful trees in
    the world. I also got to see some of the most stupendous creatures in the world. My experience there was hugely moving. —Eli

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    1. Good details to support your main ideas, Eli! Your blog has definitely shows how much you enjoyed your trip. Your sandstorm description is great! It was so windy, but the time at the shelter was awesome! I am glad that you found the trip to be moving for you. Me too!

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  25. Ravyn\Oggie BoogieMay 6, 2019 at 7:02 PM

    Westminster woods was the best field trip yet. I had five favorite parts of the trip. Even though the whole trip was fun these things were the most fun in my opinion. My most favorite part was going on morning hikes.This was fun because we found all these cool creachers hiding under rocks. My second favorite part of the adventure was seeing all the amazing animals at the tidepools. It was fun to just think back to when I had no idea what an acorn barnacle was, it blew my mind. My third favorite part of camp was seeing the super tall coast redwoods. My fourth favorite part of camp was the food. To be honest the food at westminster woods was way better than the food at camp in the summer. My fifth favorite part of camp was being in the same car as all the girls in my class. I know being in one car with eleven girls sounds crazy, and it was, but it was pretty fun, and loud, but mostly fun.
    I really liked morning hikes because if you took a look downward you would see an amazing view. You would see the tops of one of the tallest trees in the world with a little bit of fog making it so you couldn’t see the bottoms of the trees. Even though it was really cold, going to the river and touching the water was nice. While we were at the river it was fun to make face paint and to see the strange drawings on my classmate’s faces. While we were walking I found a small teepee. The tepee was so small you couldn’t even put your hand inside. It kind of looked like a real home in Sacramento. There a small fence around the it.There were bigger sticks at the corners but there was no door. I believe the teepee was for a banana slug. When we were at the creek it was very beautiful. There were broken trees here and there. It was cool to find a lot of banana slugs just crawling in the open.
    I loved going to the tidepools because seeing all the living things there was interesting. I enjoyed going back because one year ago I had no idea animals were on the rocks I was stepping on. The tide pools were like a scavenger hunt because you were always trying to find new animals. We found animals like sea anemones, sea stars, california mussels, and acorn barnacles. The sea anemones blended into the sand so well that when I stepped on one water would shoot up. The sea anemones are really squishy and it made me laugh when I poked it and water shot up. The sea stars were kind of cool. There were so many it was cool to see all of the different kinds. Before I went to the tide pools on thursday I had no idea there were purple sea stars, I thought there was only red sea stars. The california mussels looked cool while they were crammed in between rocks. It was also cool that they always came in groups and never separate. The acorn barnacles kind of looked weird because there was a little opening. At first I had no idea that acorn barnacles were just sitting on the rocks I climb on at the beach.

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  26. Ravyn\Oggie BoogieMay 6, 2019 at 7:03 PM

    I really liked seeing the coast redwoods in the forest and comparing them to the ones in my backyard. The ones in my back yard seem so small compared to the ones in the forest. I can't believe i saw a 310 feet tall redwood. It was cool to see the poison oak spiral up the tree. This sight was a little down on my list because I have been to a redwood forest already. If this was my first time going to a redwood forest it would be pretty high on my list because all the fallen trees and the really tall trees would amaze me more.
    Riding in the car with all the girls was fun because were singing a lot of random songs. We sang songs from plays we did in the past years, nursery rhymes, and the alphabet song. We also made up some songs which were kind of strange. We also played bop it and UNO which were really fun. Sometimes it got a little loud in the car but that was just because we were really excited. I loved the car ride because everybody had snacks that we all shared. For example we had cookies, triscuits, sweet tarts, M&Ms, and some kind of healthy things. I know eleven girls singing all in the same car sounds crazy but it was fun, and crazy, but mostly fun.
    I loved everything at camp. The morning hikes were my favorite parts of camp because whenever we went we found something interesting. I loved going to the tidepools and finding all the amazing animals there. The coast redwoods were not my favorite but they were pretty cool. Riding in the car with all the girls wasn’t my favorite because after everyone was singing for so long it got annoying. Westminster Woods was and may always my favorite field trip.

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    1. What a great blog, Ravyn! Your mix of facts and your thinking is excellent. I am so glad that you enjoyed the morning hikes. I always enjoy them too as it is the only time I get to take the group out. There is always so much to see! I would love to have spent a few minutes in that crazy car with you all, just a few! Sounds like you had a fun week at camp.

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  27. My time at Westminster woods was outstandingly amazing. It was wonderful for I was in the cabin with all my friends. We played on the playground, played gaga ball, on the cargo net, and at the tree house. A few of us played hide and seek behind the cabins. Two people saw a “cave” but it turned out that it was just a hollow tree trunk. They also said that “That they heard someone in the “cave”. To me, I liked their dinners were quite marvelous.

    Another marvelous aspect of Westminster woods was being with my friends. I played with them in the cabin, outside, and I even talked to them in the dining hall. In addition to the desert was really good, especially the churrios. I also liked that on friday they had coffee cake. I got four pieces of coffee cake it was delicious. I kissed a banana slug, and my class saw a whole lot of banana slugs. Some of the banana slugs were tiny while others are ginormous.

    My time at Armstrong Redwoods was astounding. Although there was a thing that my hiking group could not do that’s not what fun is. Fun is what you got to do that was amazing and new, or something that someone really likes. I, Bryan liked the tall redwoods that had poison ivy going about 150-200 feet tall. Also I liked how some of the fallen trees had their roots stiff and in the air. It was fun to climb on the roots of the tree. In addition to the roots of the tree I like the lunch outside.

    I also like the breathtaking awe-inspiring tidepools. We discovered a creatures that the our naturalists didn’t know what it was. They were peanut worms they looked quite strange. Also we saw huge sea stars that were about 9-15 inches. We did not see any sculpins. The sea anemones that we saw were bright green, light blue, and bits of dark blue. We even saw like 2 or 3 rocks were under them were 30 to 40 crabs. I also saw one big crab with to big pinchers.

    This is what I think about Westminster Woods. I liked what I did. But you’d probably think of the trip differently. How would you anticipate the trip?

    BRYAN THE GUY

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    1. It sounds like you had a great week, Bryan. You have discussed a variety of thoughts that come together to let your reader know how much you enjoyed Westminster Woods!

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  28. Joey/SilverstreamMay 6, 2019 at 8:05 PM

    Westminster Wood was a wonderful experience, I had some of the best experiences of my life. The drive was filled with excitement. Anyone could have felt the excitement in the air. My car group was the first which shocked me. The food was some of the best I have had in my life. Going to sleep was probably the hardest thing we did in Westminster Woods. Everyone was excited, and at the same time trying to fall asleep.

    The next day I had one the most amazing experiences in my life, Armstrong Redwoods. The first thing to really catch my eye was a large redwood that had fallen that seemed to have shattered on impact. It was one of the largest redwoods I saw that day. We later saw the Parson Jones. It curved as it went up. The top of the tree was not visible, and I felt like a midget seeing the Parson Jones. We hiked up to the ridge and saw some hills covered in redwoods and other trees. Hiking the ridge caused us to be late back to camp, but I think it was definitely worth it.

    The next day we went to one of the diverse places I have ever been to, the tide pools. I saw everything from a crab to a flower armed with poisonous darts. I knew barnacles lived in large colonies, but there were enough barnacles to feed our entire class. The sea anemones attached themselves to me when I touched them, and I thought was weird.

    On our final day at Westminster Woods *insert crying sound here* my hiking group learned about coho salmon and how they are making a comeback with the help of Westminster Woods. They own an imprinting tank that contains a lot of, I believe smolts. Petunia took two from the tank and we saw them up close. They are not very colorful but they are very shiny silver on their stomachs. We then got to build one of the best check dams ever. I noticed that everyone was very serious and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I hope it lasts until next year.

    I would like to thank Petunia and Redwing for being such good naturalists. I would also like to thank Chevo, Lion, White Bear, and Punkin. If I missed any of the Westminster Woods staff know that I would like to thank them too.

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    1. I like your first paragraph about the excitement, Joey. It sets the stage nicely for the rest of the post. Nice touch with the crying sound! I know what you mean; the week goes so quickly. It sounds like you had a great week!

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  29. Amy Part I

    I had a wonderful week at Westminster Woods. On the first day, we girls in the van exploded with excitement as we drove into Westminster Woods’ main campus. We were all so happy when we finally arrived.That first day, I found a huge clonal ring of coast redwoods. Petunia, one of the naturalists, told me about the stick covered in moss and lichen that I also found that day. I liked the look of the stick and found quite a few more of them that day. While we were getting ready for the camp exploration tour, my hiking group discussed whether a hot dog was a sandwich or a taco. A good amount of people decided that a hot dog was a sandwich. During recreation time, I held a banana slug but didn’t kiss it. Nassali kissed the banana slug. It was HUGE. The banana slug was really slimy, in my opinion. It slimed over half of my left hand!

    On Wednesday, I had fun at Armstrong Redwoods. I had fun finding the dinosaur tree. I think that it was cool how a tree could take up such an amazing formation. We also found a few goose-pens. The goose-pens were fun to get into, but were hard to get out of. One of the goose-pens had such a small entrance that I hit my head while trying to crawl out. We had fun at lunch, and then found and identified different trees. Each person had a partner. My partner was Nassali. It was fun identifying the trees and ferns.

    Part of my week that was fun was the fact that on Thursday, there was a sandstorm while we were at Goat Rock Beach. Even though that part was hard, I still think that it was fun because it was challenging. We found our own hideout and kind of built an apartment complex. Then, we had to walk back and rolled down the sand dunes. It was a lot of fun. On Thursday, we also went tidepooling. That was fun because we found all sorts of tidepool animals, such as sea anemones, sea stars, hermit crabs, limpets, mussels, and black turban shells. Those tidepool critters were so cool! I liked picking up the black turban shells because a lot of hermit crabs lived inside them.

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  30. Amy Part II

    On Thursday, we also had a great evening on the cargo net. Mr. La Marr gave us an interesting challenge, to stay standing on the cargo net while he shook it. Some people’s shoes fell off into the creek. Some friends from Pershing even participated! I think that that night on the cargo net was really fun.

    The naturalists were really fun and encouraging too. The naturalists, Petunia and Redwing, introduced us to our nature names. I chose Night Owl as my nature name. Nassali chose Morning Owl as her nature name. I chose Night Owl as my nature name because it takes a long time for me to fall asleep. Petunia was also really nice during the sandstorm. He always told us IGY(I got you). Redwing was really nice too on the first day. He played his flute and harmonica for us before lunch. Wesley couldn’t open his sandwich bag, so he handed it to Redwing and asked for help to open it. Redwing just handed it back to him and chanted,”You can do it!” I think that was funny.


    Part of my week that was fun was the fact that on Thursday, there was a sandstorm while we were at Goat Rock Beach. Even though that part was hard, I still think that it was fun because it was challenging. We found our own hideout and kind of had an apartment complex. Then, we had to walk back and rolled down the sand dunes. It was a lot of fun. On Thursday, we also went tidepooling. That was fun because we found all sorts of tidepool animals, such as sea anemones, sea stars, hermit crabs, limpets, mussels, and black turban shells. Those tidepool critters were so cool! I liked picking up the black turban shells because a lot of hermit crabs lived inside them.

    On Thursday, we also had a great evening on the cargo net. Mr. La Marr gave us an interesting challenge, to stay standing on the cargo net while he shook it. Some people’s shoes fell off into the creek. Some friends from Pershing even participated! I think that that night on the cargo net was really fun.

    I think that the last day, right before we left, was sad but fun at the same time. I liked seeing the coho salmon. I didn’t know that the coho salmon would be so small. I also enjoyed making rock face paint. It was fun to see what colors others would make. I liked seeing how others were looking like. I think that building the check dam was creative and fun, too. My experience at Westminster Woods was one of the most fun activities of my life.

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    1. Good organization of your ideas, Amy! Your first couple of sentences set your blog up well. I liked the cargo net that evening, too. We had a fun time there. The whole trip had many adventures, and I think you touched on many of them. Good work!

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  31. Kash/Crab King/ Duff Man/ BatmanMay 6, 2019 at 8:42 PM

    Westminster woods was an amazing experience! I really liked where the camp was located that we stayed at for the week. It was nice because it was close to the ocean and the National Forest. I liked that we didn’t have to drive to far each day since the drive there was pretty long.

    When I arrived at the cabin I wasn’t sure we were all going to fit or find a space we all liked. I thought it was cool that all my friends found a bunk bed they liked. I really liked playing hide and seek in the morning by the cabin. That was fun.

    One of the things I really liked on the trip was the hike on the beach to see the seals. I wasn’t sure we were going to make it when we ran into a sand storm along the way. Fortunately the naturalist let us keep going. We found a really big long log that we were able to hide under to stay away from most of the sand that was blowing. The thing I really liked about the spot we found was it was super close to the water and the seals actually swam right up to us and poked there head above water. Petunia said this was the closest he had ever gotten to the seals. Usually you just have to try and look at them from pretty far away. Even in the sandstorm I really liked the adventure. I loved climbing the big logs and jumping off into the sand so it didn't hurt when you landed.

    I liked learning how to play Gaga ball. I thought the game was fun because lots of people got to play and you had to be active. I really liked winning three times since there were kids from other schools playing. My school did really good in Gaga Ball. There were a lot of other fun activities at camp like the cargo net and climbing the water tanks but gaga ball was my favorite.

    I was really surprised that the breakfast and dinners were pretty good. I liked they taught us not to waste food so the landfill wouldn’t fill up. I didn’t like putting all the food in the gross buckets but I am glad we had no waste on the last day. I also really liked the coffee cake.

    I liked the trip to the tidepools. It was fun catching a bunch of crabs and seeing lots of cool stuff in the ocean. Petunia called me crabman the rest of the trip since I caught so many crabs that was funny.

    The last thing I really liked at Westminster Woods was the night hike. I thought the night hike was cool because we learned about how the Native Americans thought the stars were made. We also learned how to make sparks with rocks. I liked when Petunia taught us the Coyote ears. The Coyote ears were cool because it helped me hear something even if it was far away.

    I really liked the trip, I am really glad my Dad got to go and see all the stuff I did. I was sad at the end of the week when we had the closing ceremony for leaving. I hope the field trip I do next year is as fun as this one.

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    1. Good mix of your thoughts and factual events, Kash. I could tell you liked being up on that big log in the sandstorm. That was a great view from up there, assuming you weren't blown away. Catch some wind, and we might not see you for a while. It sounds like you had a good week! I hope next year's trip is as fun, too.

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  32. My experience at Westminster Woods went beyond my expectations.
    Westminster Woods was the best field trip ever with no competition.

    When we first arrived the playground was better than I ever expected. It was made out of wood and painted, I’m guessing, by hand. It was fun and had many things to do such as climbing, jumping, and balancing. Redwing and Petunia, our naturalists, were awesome. They taught us many things and even showed us how to sign their names in American Sign Language. We got to go down to Dutchbill creek and touch salmon in the breeding tank. On the first day we even got to name our own mushroom. Which was cool because I found it and I mean, come on, we got to name our own mushroom! At campfire we learned the banana slug song and I discovered a new favorite song. Campfire was a great conclusion to our first day at camp.

    The second day we went to Armstrong redwood forest. We got to hike in an amazing and historical place. We went to a redwood amphitheater and ate lunch. We were going to go to a waterfall and a really cool reiterated tree with branches that grew into its trunk; but the trail was unfortunately closed. At the end of the day we played a really cool game about watersheds. We were all water molecules and we traveled to many different places where water goes. And we also got to learn a really cool water cycle song. It was cool because there were many hand motions.


    Thursday was the best day of all; we went tide pooling and found many cool animals such as chitons, sea stars, hermit crabs, and muscles. When we first got to the tide pools all I saw was a bunch of pools of water and sand. That was just what I saw on the surface. Tide pooling went beyond my expectations. It was awesome because I got to hold a sea star for the first time. There were so many muscles on just one rock and it was really hard not to step on sea anemone because there were so many. Going tide pooling was fun but what happened next was way more exciting. After tide pooling we went to Goat Rock to eat lunch. It was slightly windy so our group ate lunch under a cypress tree. After lunch we went to go explore the river and see harbor seals. As we went out to the bay, we got stuck in a sand storm. We didn't find shelter but we did get to roll down sand dunes. It was fun and I got sand in my pants. The night activity was awesome. We got to go to the cargo net and do many optical illusions. My favorite optical illusion was the illusion of disappearing heads. I liked it the most because it was scary and was even creepier when you did it with someone you see almost every day. When I did it with my classmate it was really creepy because when his face disappeared my brain automatically put a snapshot of him in his place. It is kind of hard to explain what was happening, all I know is that I was scared.



    Friday was the saddest day of all and the only day where something negative happened. Friday was the day we had to leave Westminster Woods. Living in one of the world's natural wonders for almost a week was amazing. It made me think what if the redwoods get chopped down and go extinct, what if my children don’t get to experience this sensation that I enjoyed so much. Our closing ceremony was a wish and a promise. It was fun and inspiring. We got to hear what our friends and classmates cared about and what they could do to help their cause. My wish was that people would help, not hurt our forests and natural wonders. And my promise that I will keep and pursue was, and is, to teach people that if they care they can stop extinction, and to teach them about the redwoods and forests so they can help, not hurt them.

    Westminster Woods made a really positive impact on me. It made me realize that humans aren't the only natural wonders and it made me care more about my environment and to respect nature just a little bit more. By the way, if you ever go there they have AMAZING food! I hope that many other students from all around the world get to enjoy the redwoods, no matter how far away they are.

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    1. Great ending paragraph, Elanor! You have a good realization; I hope it is long-lasting. I have to agree about Friday being a sad day. It had great activities, but the trip sure came to a close quickly. Good times at camp, though! I love the first line you gave; nice Phantom Tollbooth connection!

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  33. Westminster Woods was an amazing field trip, showing me different things, and helping me get a different perspective on nature and its beauties.
    One of the best parts of the field trip was actually getting there, getting to know the new environment, and the new people. All the excitement and everyone was laughing because the whole class had been waiting for this very moment to jump out of the car to see Westminster Woods. Also because we had been in the car and on edge for about three hours. So for me this wasn’t just another field trip, it was a special time for me to bond and have fun with my classmates.
    On this field trip I had fun going to Armstrong Redwoods. It was really refreshing to see that there is something different than the city. In the city most people hear loud construction and cars. But at Armstrong Redwoods you can zone out and it can take you into a whole different world. I definitely enjoyed looking for trees with Amy since we were Leaf and Tree partners in Science Olympiad! This was a very different experience and it changed my perspective on how nature can take care of itself. Knowing this, it inspired me to try and protect nature from the forces of humans. As we walked in Armstrong Redwoods it was unlike anything I had seen before, and realizing all the hard work that it took to create the state park itself made it even more special.

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  34. Another really fun part of Westminster Woods was tide pooling. I personally have never even seen a bat star, let alone touch one! Seeing the bat stars, the sea anemones, and hermit crab was a whole new feeling for me. But when the bat stars touched me it was like a hair cut, and they would start to wrap around my hand! That was a really fun part about this field trip, there was always something new to learn. Not to mention the sea anemones. I liked those the most; I would go up to one and they would immediately light up with bioluminescence. That was the first time that I had ever seen bioluminescence face to face! It was like an amazing, wild adventure!
    The most memorable part of Westminster Woods was the sand storm. It was something that you can’t even put into words. We made the best of our time though! When we were walking through it I would have to turn my back to stay away from the sand. Once we got to a stop I had the most fun in the apartment complexes. Me, Cassius, Faisal, and Amiyah, my friends, would find crevices in the rock and make them into apartment complexes! We did this for about ten minutes, just looking for bigger crevices to move into. Afterwards I had to pay the office manager, Cassius, with my oreo! As hard as the sand was, we would find sticks and make the best of our sand storm experience! Our reward for fighting through the sandstorm, we got to see the harbor seals and they came right up to us. So we got into our shelter and watched the show!
    On the last night after our long day of fun we got to do a night hike. On the night hike we got to learn about stars and constellations. I never thought that you could use candy to make sparks of light in your mouth, but I did! We got to hike up to a peak overlooking the redwoods as we were under the stars. Our naturalist told us a super cool story about how the stars came to be. The story was the best part of the night because it was a really a fun way to end the night. Relaxing but exciting at the same time.
    The final day of camp although sad that we had to leave was also very fun. My favorite part about the final day at camp was the ending ceremony. We got to have a wish and a promise, this one thing sparked so many ideas for me and I just was bursting with happiness because I felt I could make change with the little things. I’m all about helping the environment and standing up for those in need and this was just the thing I needed to encourage that little spark. Now at home I turn off my lights, water, and electronics, trying to save energy, just like in my promise.
    The overall field trip was more than I had expected in the best way possible. Westminster Woods has made a huge impact on the way that I looked at the way nature works.

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    1. Great thoughts, Nassali! I am really happy that this trip made a positive impact on you and that you are making the effort to sustain changes that you saw from camp. We did have fun at the apartment complexes! That was great sitting there and watching the seals come up to visit us. I am glad that your trip was a success for you. Being in nature is awesome!

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    2. Great job on your blog, Nassali!

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  35. The Westminster Woods trip was the best field trip I’ve been on so far. My favorite part of the trip was the visit to the tide pools. The tide pools were really interesting and I found tons of animals I didn't even know existed. Some of the animals I found, like crabs and starfish, were bigger than I expected. The sea anemone was very big and green but my favorite animal was the polychaete worm which is like the centipede of the ocean.

    I also enjoyed the time we spent at Armstrong Redwoods. It was really fun and I learned things I didn't know before. For example, some of the redwoods had been there for over 1,400 years. That is before the goldrush! That is even before California was a state. I also didn't know that people liked redwoods more than money.
    Whenever I had free time I would play gaga ball. It was so fun and the kids I played were really nice. I got to know some kids from another school so they weren't like strangers to me. Mr. La Marr was especially funny during the trip. He kept us entertained and never gave us a chance to be bored.

    I really enjoyed the trip to Westminster Woods. I learned a lot, had lots of fun, and made new friends. Every single day at Westminster Woods was an adventure beyond.

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    1. Good work, Westyn. It sounds like you had a good week. I am glad that you found each day to be an adventure. We all need adventure-that's what makes life exciting. Thank you for your compliment; I appreciate it!

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  36. There are so many ideas I could write about this amazing week. I love the redwoods, as if people didn't know that, and a day at the ocean can't be beat, even when we get blasted by sand! Of course, hiking with my 4th graders before breakfast and then again at night is an experience that I always hold as one of my favorite times at camp. How can a person pick just one favorite adventure? I don't see how that's possible.

    If I have to select a favorite part of camp, I always have to say that it's getting to spend time in a social setting with my incredible group of fourth graders! What can be better than that? A sandstorm? No, that's not better. Redwood forests inspire awe, and I find them to be so relaxing, but that still doesn't compare to watching fourth graders enjoy camp. We had such an outstanding week. Getting to have meals together, getting to explore nature together, and getting to just talk in a setting where we aren't hurrying all around to do school work is the best part of camp. Then, getting to do all that in a redwood forest? There is nothing better!

    Fourth graders: you were simply incredible that week. You all showed such camaraderie and you truly enjoyed each other's company. Just think how far we've come since last February! Be proud of your accomplishment. That you enjoyed your trip so much makes me happy as I think the ocean and forest are special places to spend time. I hope that you continue to go out in nature and enjoy the world. There are some amazing explorations to be had. I am so lucky to have gotten to explore with you for a week in April, 2019. Your week at camp made me even prouder to be your teacher; you all made a week in the redwoods even better. We have a great team in room 15!

    #dontbeamilo

    #explorenature

    #fourthgradersrule

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  37. There are many things I will remember about my year in fourth grade with Mr. La Marr. Going to Westminster Woods was one of the most memorable things I did. Both of my shoes fell off of the cargo net and one of them fell into the river and got wet. When my first shoe fell off I felt kind of bad about it, and I worried that my shoe would flow downstream. Once I became calm, I flicked my other shoe off and it landed on the side of the creek. I did not put my shoes back on. I stayed on the cargo net without any shoes. It felt kind of cool having my shoes off on the cargo net. Also, on the cargo net, Mr. La Marr bounced people up and down and up and down and up and down. I loved this. I was a little scared at first that I would fall down and hurt myself, but after awhile I got comfortable and tried to stand up in the middle of the wobbly cargo net. For our night hike, we got to go up to the cargo net and play on it for about fifteen minutes. When it got dark, we did optical illusions in the dark. The second optical illusion, when people’s faces disappeared, kind of spooked me out a little bit, but I got used to it. I got to go inside of a hollowed out redwood. I brought fake poop and a fake lizard to Westminster Woods, hoping I could prank my friends. When we were inside the tree, I put the lizard on the floor. Sean picked it up and threw it, and Jinjoo screamed. I got to sleep with my best friends at camp.This felt like one big sleepover. But there was one thing at Westminster Woods that I will remember for a lifetime: the naturalists. These magnificent people led us through redwood forests, through a dust storm, and educated us on many topics about nature. Our naturalist was funny, nice, and educational. Another thing I will remember about Westminster Woods is the long car ride there and back.

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  38. Another long car ride this year was the ride to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. We saw many cool inventions and objects at the Exploratorium. I even got to drink water out of a toilet. The water was clean, don’t worry. I got to see an intricate marble track made of toothpicks, and it worked. What made it amazing was that the guy who created it worked on it for 44 years, and he is still adding more today. My mom wants me to try and build one. I felt like a Native American when we got to make smoke signals. Then we had an amazing picnic outside with a great view of the harbor. Finally, we got to go to the gift shop! I bought a coast redwood tree and a pocket knife. The redwood tree meant a lot to me because we had been studying coast redwoods in class. The pocket knife was cool because when you opened up all the tools, it looked like a crab. I even cut my finger when I first got it… oops! I am really sad because the coast redwood did not survive. I’ll have to go visit again so I can get another one.

    Another place I can’t wait to revisit, and does not get old, is Coloma. I see new things every single time I go. I took on a new perspective when I went with my class this year. We had studied the Gold Rush, so I knew what more of the structures meant to history. I got to pan for gold. Though I didn’t find any, I got a small taste of what it felt like for the miners. Crouching over in freezing cold water all day must get very tiring. One of my favorite things is that I got a ring made out of a bent nail. People going west to California used these rings when they got married because there were no jewelry stores in the middle of the prairie. Unfortunately, I lost my ring... oops! Before we took our field trip to Coloma, we read a book in class by Marci Seither titled The Adventures of Pearley Monroe. On our hike we got to see where the Monroe family was buried. The cool thing about the book The Adventures of Pearley Monroe is that Mr. La Marr’s daughter and Marci Seither’s son are married, so they share a grandson. Marci Seither even came to our class and commented on our projects that we made about our favorite scene in The Adventures of Pearley Monroe. Our teacher’s name is even on the back of the book The Adventures of Pearley Monroe.

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  39. We saw Mr. La Marr’s grandson a few times this year, which was also a highlight. His grandson is sometimes very funny to watch and we appreciate him in the classroom. We saw him at Science Night. Science Night is where you look up a science experiment, learn how to do it, practice it, and then teach it to adults and kids. My group and I made elephant toothpaste for our science experiment. This is where you use hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, food coloring, yeast and hot water to make a colorful, foamy reaction. Laying in bed the night we started practicing our experiment I could not wait to start practicing it. The experiment looked so cool. Other groups did other really cool science experiments. Two of the groups that shared the patio with us were popping the cork off the top of a bottle and oobleck. The corks made loud popping sounds and sometimes landed in our elephant toothpaste. Science Night is something I will remember for a long time.

    Mr. La Marr is one of the best, if not the best teacher I have ever had. I will miss room fifteen, and hopefully remember it forever!

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    1. Elijah H. (Former 4th grader)June 3, 2019 at 11:59 AM

      I think Mr. LaMarr is a great teacher too! When we went during the school day to see your experiments for science night I thought it was really cool! Great job on your blog! :)

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    2. Thank you Elijah! I appreciate that. Thank you for your compliments about Science Night practice and about our blogs. We have worked hard.

      I know that the 4th graders were very impressed with the 5th grade Wax Museum this year. You all did so well, and you make your 4th grade teacher very proud!

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