MOSS Journal, April 2015


MOSS Journal, April 2015

When I’m at the ocean, I feel refreshed.
There is a breeze always in my face.
I love the splunk of crashing waves and the feel of the sand between my toes.
My favorite color is ocean blue.
The ocean is exciting—I just can’t wait to see what will happen next!
Maybe I’ll see some wildlife.
I love the ocean.

— Burney Elementary, 6th Grade

Canoe Trip!

MOSS Canoe Adventure!


Mendocino Middle School added a bit of adventure to their visit to the Mendocino Outdoor Science School by taking a trip up the Big River watershed with their naturalists. The groups spied a family of otters, as well as great blue herons, kingfishers, cormorants, and harbor seals. At the Woodlands, schools are encouraged to work with staff to tailor their experience to their interests.

Student Salmon Survey

Student Salmon Survey


SONAR – The School of Natural Resources at Mendocino High School, works with natural resource agencies, such as Fish and Game, local watershed awareness groups, and Parks and Recreation, where students get real life hands-on experience in science. They are trained to collect and present information in a scientific way, accurately depicting the conditions of local streams and marine habitat.

Sonar has been working on counting salmon population up at Little North Fork of Big River for the last two months and has had success in finding Y.O.Y. (pronounced “yoy” -Young Of the Year) and redds (salmon nests) along the paths of the beautiful redwood forests. During the hatching and reproduction periods, Sonar students have been collecting sample data to examine and compare differences in a majority of species, sizes, and populations.

Is That the Ocean?

“Is that the Ocean?”


As we were nearing the parking area for exploring tidepools, I was taken aback by this seemingly obvious question from an inner city kid attending MOSS. Omigosh, I thought. Can he be serious, or is he just putting me on? I decided I’d better play it straight, and simply answered, “Yes, it is.” He nodded thoughtfully, staring raptly at the big blue sea, trying to take it all in at once. Then he looked at me, and shocked me even more: “Which ocean is it?” he asked shyly. I was blown away by both his lack of knowledge and the eagerness to learn I found in his eyes. “This is the Pacific Ocean. Pacific means ‘peaceful’,” I told him. He turned to gape at it in wonder.

The MOSS program is found only at the Woodlands and teaches hundreds of kids every year. But the program goes beyond facts and figures to include a sense of community and trust, leading to poignant moments like this. Who knows what information can change a life for the better?

—Jeanne Smith
Environmental Education Director


Saving the Woodlands

Saving the Woodlands

THANKS to the tremendous efforts of everyone involved—especially the Friends of the Woodlands—the Camp One dance floor has been replaced. The roof is on already, and thanks to you, we are moving right along in the process of preserving the Woodlands. We hope we can count on your ongoing support. We’ve also completed restoration of the Camp One Dining Hall. Next up: Work on the dining hall and crumbling cabins in Camp Two.

Many of you have been coming to the Woodlands for a long time, bringing your children and your children’s children. And we’ve seen the obvious enjoyment expressed by (relative) newcomers for this beautiful camp. You all clearly have a special place in your hearts for the Woodlands. But you have also witnessed its deterioration from use by thousands of campers for more than 70 years. This deterioration threatens the very existence of this camp, which is the only 1930’s camp remaining that is still used for its original purposes of recreation and nature education in its original facilities. However, the Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association is dedicated to preserving this extraordinary campground and restoring it to its historic glory for the enjoyment and safety of campers. We are committed to realizing this goal by the year 2017. The plans have been drawn up, but we need your help.

Friends Indeed
As you may know, State Parks’ budget has been slashed and so they can be of little help financially. But we are very fortunate to have lots of Friends of the Woodlands (FOW), who give generously of their time and money to help us achieve this goal of preserving the Woodlands, and we are very grateful for them.

Some Help from the Government
All of our hard work and effort in persuading Senator Wes Chesbro that the Mendocino Woodlands State Park is a worthy cause that needs his help is finally paying off. He went to bat for us on and saw to it that we received our fair share of the bond money that State Parks is getting for deferred maintenance. From this fund, a new roof was put on the dance hall.

The Next Project and How You Can Help Save the Woodlands
It’s time to start preparing for the next big project: the restoration of the dining hall and crumbling cabins in Camp Two. Please think of saving the Woodlands as this year draws to a close and you are making your year-end contributions. MWCA is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, so all contributions made to both the Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association and Friends of the Woodlands are fully deductible. We are off to a great start—let’s keep the ball rolling by giving generously.

You can donate online using your credit card via a secure link to PayPal. There, you can designate which fund if you wish.

donate to Mendocino Woodlands camp Association

Or, you can send a check payable to Friends of the Woodlands.
Send to: P.O. Box 267, Mendocino, CA 95460

Keeping You Informed
We hope you find our new electronic newsletter interesting and informative. We plan to keep you updated on the Woodlands as events transpire. If you would like to be on our e-mailing list as a Friend of the Woodlands, click here to subscribe. Rest assured we will not share your information with anyone else. Please note that this edition came to you via your camp’s director.