Posts in Category: Season

New School Year, New Classes, and New Faces

Fall season has arrived here at Pathfinder Ranch and many new exciting staff, programs, and animals have sailed in with the crisp Autumn air. With Summer behind us our new Naturalists are channeling their inner Dusky Wood Rat and scurrying to perfect lesson plans as we welcome our first students of the season.

This new school year has also allowed us to revamp old power point presentations as well as begin a new evening program. We have added Catapults to our evening programming that explores students’ creative side. Students will construct and test their own method of catapulting using just a few materials and basic physics concepts. The students will launch little piggy’s to test their catapulting devices (no animals are harmed in this activity).

Another program we have added to our rainy day activities that we are extremely excited about is Weather! What better time to explore weather patterns then during a rain day? The students will conduct and test different experiments to help better understand how weather works.

Pathfinder Ranch has been lucky enough to add two exquisite animal friends to our mammal family. Barkley, who is a Hanoverian Thoroughbred, is our newest member of the Equine family. Barkley is the only Warmblood horse in the herd who formerly competed in dressage and jumping!

Barkley, the newest member of our herd.

Barkley, the newest member of our herd.

Terwilliger is our newest member to the wonderful nature center. Terwilliger is a very cute, rambunctious, and furry Chinchilla. Speaking of furry, Terwilliger has 60 hairs per follicle! Chinchillas hail from the Andes Mountains in South America. We will be celebrating her first birthday in October!!

Chillin' with our chinchilla.

Coral chillin’ with our chinchilla.

There is much to be excited about here at Pathfinder Ranch from our excited new Naturalists to the changing of seasons to the new and revamped programming. We are looking forward to all the schools attending our program this fall!

Peace and a warm fleece,

Pathfinder Ranch

Winter Reflections

Tracks in the snow

Tracks in the snow

After three fun-filled weeks of training, school groups, and classes, it’s hard to believe that winter break was less than a month ago! As January comes to a close, we have been reflecting on how important it is to step away, and how exciting it is to come back.

Frosty sage and a frozen lake

Frosty sage and a frozen lake

Our staff comes from all over, and when we closed for the holidays, we spread out to every corner of the United States. Naturalists could be found frolicking in the forests of Vermont, snow-shoeing in Montana, reuniting with their dogs in Texas, spending family time in Washington, and even road-tripping through the Midwest. Those who relaxed up here at the ranch were able to witness something exciting, too – the first snow of the season! Whether watched through a window with hot cocoa in hand, or caught on tongues and rolled around in, the snow was enjoyed by everyone lucky enough to see it, and pictures were sent to those of us who were too far away.

No matter where we spent our break or what we spent time doing, a common thread between us all was the time spent with family and friends. Living a wanderer’s life, it is so wonderful to have the opportunity to wander back to the people we love, even just for a week or two. That time spent away from work, reflecting on our lives, friendships, and growth, was truly a blessing. It was a nice reminder that no matter how long you are away, you can always go back home.

We hope everyone had a happy holiday season! Whether you spent it on a faraway adventure or snuggled up in your living room, we hope you spent some time reflecting and celebrating with the people who matter the most.

Happy winter, from our family to yours!

Seasons Greetings

Season’s Reflections

As yet another season comes to an end here at Pathfinder Ranch we take a moment to reflect back on this fall’s accomplishments. By the end of this week we will have seen almost 2,400 students. We started the season with sunshine and some thunderstorms, and will be ending with rain and cold. Through it all staff and students alike have kept positive and enthusiastic attitudes.

We were lucky enough to make it through this busy fall with minimal illness for Ranch residents including our horses, farm and nature center animals. Unfortunately, some of our free range chickens were taken away by local coyotes, but we’re hopeful for new Silkie chicks in the next few weeks! Hopefully our January and February schools will get a chance to see newly hatched chicks!

One of our most exciting additions to the Ranch is the High Tunnel. It is currently home to many seeds and starter plants that will weather the winter inside, and give us a head start on next spring’s garden plans. It has also proven an excellent shelter from the much needed rain showers over the past few weeks.

Overall this season has been full of improvements, growth and excitement. Here’s looking forward to an equally amazing spring!

Students enjoying a geology class in the National Forest.

Students enjoying a geology class in the National Forest.