This is our final newsletter of the spring 2020 Outdoor School season. At the beginning of the year, no one could ever imagine an outdoor school season to be what this one became. Whatever the future holds, we hope to continue to provide fun outdoor learning experiences and be positive mentors for the Creekside Outdoor School community.
Familiar Walks, Unique Perspective
By Jay "Jericho" Pengelly
Walking through my neighborhood has been one thing I can do during quarantine to keep my body active and refresh my mind. You may have taken many walks in the last few months, or perhaps you tell yourself you are going on a walk today but never get around to it. Whatever your involvement is here is a walk you can take which while familiar, you will have the opportunity to explore in new ways.
I have a walk I like to take, it is four square blocks and I get a nice mix of residential and commercial areas with a beautiful park I can cut through. As summer quickly approaches I think about how many neighborhood walks I have ahead.
Star Wars with Jericho
By River "Fossil" Cox
During this stay at home order, it can be hard to stay connected to people. A great way to keep up our relationships going strong is to play tabletop role playing games with those we want to stay close to. The most well known of these is Dungeons and Dragons. Some of the Creekside staff have been partaking in this nerdy endeavor with a game set in the Star Wars universe, here is our story:
Under the Shadow of the Empire, a rag-tag band of heroes forms on the Core World of Corellia. They’ve been hired to retrieve supplies crucial to the Rebel Alliance. A notorious gang of pirates have the cargo stashed at their secret base on the jungle planet, Prexiar 4.
They stock up on supplies from the ship of the Twylek who hired them, Byll Fortuna. Taybo, the Ewok who found herself mixed up in this crew after mistakenly walking onto a ship just before it left her home of Endor, and Jako Spar the ex-pirate Weequay with a love for gambling took on the role of distraction.
While the other half of the crew snuck under the electric fence using a small stream that flowed into the base. They snuck through the encampment, avoiding the attention of the pirates. Slowly they loaded up a cargo skiff with the rebel supplies. Just as Kell, a curious shaull explorer, brought on the last box, the heroes caught enemy attention. Shishe, the human flight mechanic, started up the skiff. Shogas, a failed human jedi, attempted to throw up a bit of dust to cover them from incoming fire and signalled the distraction team via comm-link.
The attention of the entire camp was now on them and shots were being fired in all directions. The skiff slowed just enough to pick up Jako and Taybo and they were off along the road into the jungle. Shishe made easy work dodging the shots from the speeders behind them, but they were quicker than the skiff. Kell prepared a large weapon found in one of the crates and Taybo sorted through the rest of the crates, developing a collection of curious objects. Shogas shot a low hanging branch that swung down, causing one speeder to drop far behind and eventually get lost behind them.
Jako took a risk and jumped onto the remaining speeder. After a quick physical confrontation along with some gunshots from his friends, Jako was able to overtake the speeder and threw the pirate off, but not before losing control of the speeder which dove headfirst into the forest. Shishe chased after the speeder into the forest to find Jako struggling to restart the machine. Shogas agreed the speeder would remain Jako’s property and he took off with the speeder, towards Byll Fortuna’s ship.
When they arrived, they found that it was swarming with pirates who took their spacecraft past them and they were beginning to plant bombs on the ship. Shogas and Shishe drove in opposing directions in the clearing to split the pirates while the rest of the crew walked in shooting. Kell managed a powerful blast with the rebel weapon that took out several pirates and the heroes quickly boarded with the skiff and speeder in possession.
Shishe helped Byll pilot the ship and prepare it for hyperspace while Jako and Shogas fired back at the pursuing ship. Shogas finally had a keen moment with the force as he took a moment to focus and make a clean shot. Unfortunately it did not seem to take much effect. Shogas gave up and walked away, allowing Kell to take his place firing the guns. Then hyperspace was achieved and the crew headed towards a rebel base and celebrated through the night.
The game is in progress and the Creekside team will continue to play once a week into the summer. We might have more Creekside staff join some weeks, as new characters, and when staff can not make a game, their character will stay idle.
Creekside Crypto Puzzle
By River "Fossil" Cox
Below is an encoded message that you must decode.
Each letter in the puzzle below is meant to be another.
The only hints you get are that the letter “j” is actually “y” and that the letter “e” is actually “r”
Nine Days of Creekside
Txj Wmz: Pwvitze fxr pvyityml dwfzer wa ewgqr ym dhz rvm.
Txj Dfw: Uwliw awvmt rwuz symzr xmt aymxiij dyzt hze rhwz.
Txj Dhezz: Pvupiz rxf x aiwfze xd dhz dwb wa x dezz.
Txj Awve: BwzDxjDwz rdwiz Kzeyghw’r twwe.
Txj Aysz: Awrryi bvd hyr beyvr ymdw wszeteysz.
Txj Ryn: Ewwd hxt x dwwdryz bwb, yd dwwq dfw-hvmtezt-zylhd iygqr
Txj Rzszm: Deyiiyvu dvemzt dhz uvryg vb dw zizszm.
Txj Zylhd: Uxeuwd texmq fxdze xmt dhzm hz azid lezxd.
Txj Mymz: Iygh gexadzt xmt uymzt.
Halfway through 5th grade my family moved to Northern California. I had to start at a new school and didn’t know anyone. For most of a year I didn’t make friends and felt like an outsider. I spent a lot of time in my backyard reading or in my room drawing. I made up a lot of stories and used my imagination to keep myself occupied.
I traveled from Indiana to Kansas City alone with my 2-year-old son. I was a young nurse and knew I could get a job anywhere and was headed to Denver. My VW Bug broke down in Kansas City so I stayed! As it turned out, I got an amazing job, had specialized ICU training from University of Kansas, met my husband-to-be, and my son was in one of the best school districts in the country. It was indeed full of silver linings.
Three weeks with 3 feet of snow alone in my house in Olympia during the holidays. I spent a lot of time watching movies and playing music. At one point, I built a small jump in my backyard for my snowboard, and lost my keys. My dog ended up digging my keys out of a huge pile of snow a few days later. I got quite a bit of practice digging my car out of the snow. So, when my roommate finally came home, and immediately got stuck in the snow, he asked me to help push him out. I just started digging with the snow shovel. I found it most valuable to focus on each day and not get stuck worrying about how long I would be in isolation.
A family tradition of mine is to stay with my mother’s parents along with her brother’s family for the days leading up to Christmas. This tradition started when we feared that an incoming snowstorm would prevent us from spending the holiday together. We left on the morning of the 23rd and we were snowed in, spending Christmas playing games and playing with our new toys until the 27th. Some other traditions came out of this time locked in together with our family, like the family crossword.
Backpacking by myself is when I feel the most isolated. In times such as this I like to reflect on my goals and passions. It provides time away from electronics and is time to really think independently. I enjoy experiencing nature in this way because you are thinking about the outdoors without any distractions from even the simple things like a conversation with others.
Between my sophomore and junior year of high school, my family moved. My friends and I were still too young to drive, social media was just in its infancy. That summer I spent much of my time reading. I read a couple Harry Potter books, classic novels, and a few books from my mom's collection. I look back to that summer as a quiet, serene moment in my life.
When I was a sophomore in highschool I had to be homeschooled due to a previous injury. During that time I spent a lot of time alone and felt very isolated. Because of the injury I wasn't able to walk very far, or hang out with my friends. So I was just stuck at home doing school work and trying to find ways to kill the time. I found that taking each day one at a time and doing things that got my brain and hands working got me through this period. Now, many years later, I look back on that time and think of all the skills I learned during that time and am glad that I had that time.
I deployed to Afghanistan for nine months with a team of nine other people. We were a medical team, so there was very little to do unless someone got hurt. Naturally, we got sick of eachother and were bored most of the time. To compensate, we found activities we all enjoyed like volleyball and ping pong and perfected our game. I committed my time to exercising and put in the effort I would never be able to do otherwise. That, and playing every single offline video game I own!
The summer before 7th grade my family and I moved from Minnesota to Oregon. I’ve moved before but never this far and for a while I felt really alone and isolated. I spent a lot of time doing random household things like painting chairs and unpacking boxes. What really got me through was staying connected with my friends and family back in MN and going on hikes and exploring Oregon with my family.
One of the hardest times in my life was when my sister went away to college. I was going into a high school where none of my friends were and there were a lot of life changes going on for me. Even though we didn’t get along for most of our childhood, when she left I felt a new sense of loneliness, isolated. I didn’t move so I always knew I had my friends but it was still hard for some reason. Something that ended up helping me a lot was reaching out and talking to a counselor/therapist. It’s really hard sometimes to remember that you can change things in your own life (for me it was looking into other options for education and eventually going to PCC) and having someone to talk with and help me see things from other perspectives was very important to my growth and happiness during that time.
Created with images by Markus Spiske - "untitled image" • Colton Sturgeon - "A great urban view of the Kansas City skyline. Shot in Mid July." • Jacek Dylag - "Accoustic Guitar" • Medena Rosa - "untitled image" • Keghan Crossland - "Golden meadow in the mountains" • freestocks - "untitled image" • Debby Hudson - "Time to hit the books" • Samuel Girven - "untitled image" • RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist - "untitled image" • Wynand van Poortvliet - "Puffin Talk on Saltee Island Great, one of my favourite spots on earth. See this picture also on Unsplash or in my categorie Birds. The Saltee Islands are a pair of small islands lying 5 kilometres off the southern coast of County Wexford in Ireland. The two islands are Great Saltee (89 hectares) and Little Saltee (37 hectares). Both have been privately owned by the Neale family since 1943."