ESCAPE to the Snow 2024

A day of sledding and snowball fights

In January, we took our yearly excursion to the Tahoe area for a day of sledding and playing in the snow! As always, it was a crowd favorite. We were grateful for an easy drive up to our usual spot in Kingvale and beautiful weather the whole day.

After setting up our base camp at the foot of the hill, we were off to explore all the snow activities. When we needed a break from the sledding and snowball-fighting and snowperson-making, we had a delicious picnic lunch of tamales and hot cocoa. Always a treat to have hot food in the cold snow!

While the bus ride leaving the snow park was noticeably sleepier than the morning, we got our second wind after an In-N-Out pitstop. With one more stop in Sacramento to see the state capitol building, we were home! This trip is a long one but is a highlight for many. A few more photos of our day:

Thank you for all your support.

Check out the video if you have a few extra minutes!

ESCAPE T-Shirts and Hoodies 2024

ESCAPE Club Apparel Orders

Get your orders in today!

We’re SO EXCITED to reveal this year’s t-shirt and hoodie design! It’s a play on the classic “Evolution of Man” progression, and celebrates the transformation that we hope to see with our own students. Thanks again to Keith Dickson for his amazing execution of this idea!

We’ll be offering t-shirts in a dark mustard yellow and hoodies in a light heather gray. Photos below provide a general idea for how the shirts will look.

T-shirts for students are heavily subsidized so that every member can have a t-shirt. If you’d like to contribute to that fund, we always appreciate it!

You can order HERE, or just reply to this email.

Please have your order to us no later than Thursday March 21.

We can deal with payment later. Just need your order asap!

Thanks again to all for your support!

ESCAPE Club Fall Adventures 2023

Our visit to Slide Ranch and a tour of San Francisco

We always love our trip to Slide Ranch! While many of the activities are similar from year to year, it’s new and fresh every time. Some mud and rainy weather were a challenge, but we made it through the day. We started off with goat milking, and some brave souls even tried to taste the fresh goat milk. We visited the bee hives, the chicken coop, and the ducks. Feeding and holding the chickens and seeing their fresh eggs is always a highlight!

We moved on to the garden, where we saw, tasted, smelled, and felt all the variety of leaves and vegetables. Then we took bread dough and shaped it into whatever form we wanted. Some of us put poppy seeds from the garden on our creation. Once it was baked, we enjoyed it warm with some salt and butter!

We finished up the day with a visit to the bone grove, where we saw whale bones, coyote and deer bones, and other local critters. It was a full day, and we were grateful for the gracious and patient Slide Ranch staff!

San Francisco is full of fun things to do, and we try to jam as much as we can into one day. Sometimes it’s just fun to be a tourist and see and do the same things as people from all over the world! We started our adventure at Lombard Street, and then did a loop around the pond at the Palace of Fine Arts. From there, we returned to the new Tunnel Tops Park at the Presidio. The Field Station on its own is full of things to see and do and learn. There’s history, art, ecology, geography– all the things we love best!

The December weather was gorgeous, so exploring Fort Point, and walking across the Golden Gate Bridge were both a treat! Many of the kids chose Fort Point as their favorite stop of the day. They love exploring the four story old building, with its dark corners, and spectacular views.

Wishing each of you a happy holiday season! Hope you are able to enjoy some rest and maybe some time with friends and loved ones. Thanks again for following along on our journeys!
Our videos are a little shorter this year, so have a quick look!

Slide Ranch video

SF Tour video

ESCAPE to Mount Diablo 2023

Our first trip of the year to the summit and Rock City

Another school year has begun and the ESCAPE Club is back at it. We’ve got another full year of adventures planned and kids from both DeJean and Soskin Middle Schools are excited for what’s in store! We kicked off the year as usual with our trip to Mt. Diablo.

We drove up to the summit first, and thankfully, the museum was open because it was COLDĀ outside. The temperature was still down in the 40s and even colder with the wind chill. Despite the clear views, getting back in the car was an easy sell, and we headed down to Rock City.

We always love our time at Rock City because of the unstructured time to explore in small groups, scramble up a rock or into a cave for a better view, or follow a trail somewhere to maybe even feel a little lost! We didn’t get to see any tarantulas, but we did catch a couple volunteer fence lizards. Hopefully they’ll realize the joy they brought to us!

No one was in any hurry to leave, but after our traditional ice cream treat, it was time to head back to Richmond. Student after student asked “When is our next trip? Where are we going?” and we felt like we were off to a good start.

Finally, it’s Giving Tuesday today. As you may know, the ESCAPE Club is completely run by volunteers, and has zero overhead. Every dollar donated goes to taking our students outside to experience the natural beauty of California. If you’d like to help, there are several ways you can support our work. We always can use driver chaperones for our trips. We love to have professional connections to outdoor experiences and careers in outdoor industries. We can use donations of food, clothes, and supplies for our trips. And we always appreciate your financial support. You can donate via our 501c3 fiscal sponsor HERE, or contact us for more direct methods of giving. Thank you so much! Please let us know if you have any questions about supporting us.

See more of our trip to Mt. Diablo and Rock City here!