Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ridgefield Community Service/Adventure CR 2013

Day 1 ---- La Condesa & have luggage for homestay transported to Casa Turire Hotel from airport for storage (La Condesa)
Preparing kids for the future

Welcome to Costa Rica. Today you will be met outside the airport by some familiar faces as we get ready for a 3rd Annual Ridgefield Costa Rican Science Adventure. We will make the 20 minute drive to the first hotel where we will be staying. Here we will have dinner and the kids will get an orientation of what the trip will entail. It will be an early-to-bed after dinner because we want to be rested for the full week of learning and adventure. (Meals: Dinner)

Day 2 ---- Orphanage & Enter Cave (Sleep in Cave)  

After breakfast we'll go to the Hogar Sembra (the orphanage) where the Ridgefield kids always seem to be the favorites. It is one of the most memorable experiences of the trip and a chance to play some games and give the most precious gift possible from CT and that is friendship. After about 1 1/2 hour stay at the orphanage we will get on the road and be heading South. We will have box lunches on the bus and the arrive to the entrance of the Cave around 1:30pm. After the bus ride we will get out, stretch and loosen up to get ready for the hike into the cave. This is going to be our first experience in the rainforest. We'll go over the basics of the different levels of the rainforest, how it differs from other forests, its roll in controlling climate, and the effects when rainforest is lost, such as soil degradation, carbon storage, and the water cycle. We will open up the week with our CRR Standards and todays topic which will relate to all that follow will be Climate.  (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 3 ---- Cave Activities & Travel to Turrialba (Casa Turire Hotel)

 If you want to learn a little environmental science it is just like learning Spanish. You have to immerse yourself in the culture to learn Spanish and here we believe you have to immerse yourself in the environment to learn about the environment. This is about as immersed as it gets. We will be doing a number of activities today and learning a great deal while having fun. Today the CRR Standard is Food & Biomimicry which all can relate to how the tropical environment around us provides us with the essentials we need to live. After  learning about Biomimicry we will rappel a 120ft waterfall. This is a real adventure in the jungle and the kids love it. It is one of the most beautiful spots you will find in all of Costa Rica. Then it's lunchtime in the cave followed by a short educational section with a hands on activity about Biomimicry. This is a Science that deals with learning from nature and not just learning about nature. It allows the kids to find different things in the rainforest and we supply them with answers of how what they found could solve some of today's problems. It is an excellent lesson on sustainability as nature makes its products withwaste and many of nature's other inventions are being used today in the search for greener energy.

After our hands-on exercises, getting the kids excited about what nature has mastered to perfection and we are still working on in some areas, we will then take the young scientists to the Jumping Rock!!! This is a chance for them to take an afternoon hike and jump off a waterfall. It is about a 15 ft waterfall and a great adventure for those looking for a little adrenaline. In the evening it is off to the Turrialba area  where they will be staying in the beautiful Casa Turire with views of the smoking Turrialba Volcano (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 4 ---- Full Day Community Service (Homestay Program)  

Today we will be making the short trip to the homestays. We will be taking part in a full day project of community service which will involve working to build, paint, or help out in someway the nearby community. Our homestay program is what we feel has changed lives. We get the kids to reflect on their time and focus on community service and living extremely happy under simple conditions.

 We will also be doing an afternoon activity that will cover the next topic of our CRR Standards (Biodiversity & Water: See Standards). We will enjoy dinner in the evening get a good night's rest since we'll need all the energy we have for dancing in the homestays! (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 5 ----  Full day of Local Homestay activities (Homestay)

With all of the adventures we have to offer there is seldom one that people prefer more than the homestay experience at Sitio de Mata. Today we will have a full day activities planned where the homestays get a chance to share their culture with us. We will be covering the CRR Standards of Cultural Awareness, Language, & Health. This is a chance for the kids to experience the true Costa Rica experience and one of the best parts of Costa Rica---it's people. We will also have a community service project today that will entail doing some work for the community. This is a chance for the kids to give back for the amazing stay they will be experiencing. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 6 ---- Rafting and drive to Arenal (Arenal Hotel)

Roth Table - For 30!
Today we plan on getting an early start on the river. We will arrive to the river before the other companies arrive because this is one of the top rivers on the planet which makes it a place a lot of people want to see. National Geographic has this as one of the top five scenic rivers on the planet. We will have breakfast in the homestays, say good-bye to our families, and then be on our way to the river. We will also plan on having a river lunch planned and if you don't mind us saying we are excellent chefs on the river. This is a chance for the kids to just play on the river bank with nothing organized and go over one of our most important standards and that is CRR Standard Ecoliteracy. After lunch it is a few more rapids and then we are on our way to the Arenal volcano. We will be arriving early enough where the kids can stop for some shopping and then head to the beautiful Casa Luna Lodge. This is a great spot for student groups with an excellent view of the volcano. We will have dinner waiting for us when we arrive and then everyone should be pretty tired so it will be easy falling asleep tonight. (Meals: Breakfast, RIVER LUNCH!, & Dinner)

Day 7 ---- Zipline, Community Service, and Hotsprings (Arenal Hotel)

Today is another day full of adventure, fun and giving back. We plan on trying to do a quick overview of every standard of our program. We will also learn about the volcanos of Costa Rica and no better place to do it than from a zipline through the rainforest alongside one of the most active volcanoes on the planet. After the zipline we will take a much deeper look into our CRR Standard of Food which will be the tour at the Organic Farm. This will not just be a tour on the organic farm we will also be doing some community service work where we will be working for a local farm getting dirty and helping out in building compost for the local school system. During the actual farm tour we will walk through a completely Organic Farm with an amazing educator named Don Juan. He teaches youth and adults about the importance of our food supply and what needs to be done to meet the population growth of our planet. In the evening it is all fun as we visit the hotsprings and the kids can go on the slide 1,000 times each. After this full day and we will have a very special farewell dinner with our new friends from the Ridgefield Group. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 8 ---- Fly Home!

Today we load up the bus and head back to the airport. (Meals: Breakfast)

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