Honors program retreats to Groveland

Getaway was met with positive feedback and fun memories.


Photo courtesy of Katherine Mustar

Honor students gather around the cabin to relax out on the porch

Kai Arellano, Staff Writer

The LMC Honors Program went on a weekend trip to Camp Tuolumne Trails in Groveland and Yosemite from Sept. 9 to Sept. 11. The Honors Program at LMC is a group of prestigious LMC students who get to have enhanced versions of academics that are available to them. Although this seems exclusive, the group of students are no different from other students on campus, as their curriculum is more tailored for a more challenging learning experience.

The trip was completely set up by the director of the program Jennifer Saito. She arranged payment by LMC for every expense for the students, reserved the camping area and sent ahead of time for Yosemite entrance passes.

“It had been three years since the last trip,” Saito said. She went on to say how she wanted everything to be exciting for the students since it had been so long since their last adventure.

The Honors director Jennifer Saito arranged everything,” said Astronomy professor Scott Cabral. He continued with how Saito had recruited faculty of her choosing to come and be present with the students.

The professors that went were Art professor Eric Sanchez, English professor Alex Sterling, Political Science professor Ryan Hiscocks, Philosophy professor Edward Haven and professor Cabral. When it came to the trip, it was very enjoyable for everyone. People were excited to get away from school and go camping with friends, other students and the professors.

All the professors had activities planned for the students too. These activities were creating art from nature, star gazing, bad poetry night, fly fishing and on Sunday everyone went on a Yosemite hiking trail. 

“There was this hayriding activity, but it started raining,” said Saito. Although this happened she continued with how the students wanted to keep going because it was so fun.

Not only was it just fun activities, but provided there were thought provoking and outward looking presentations.

My role on the weekend was to do the astronomy presentation on Friday night,” Cabral said. He elaborated with how his presentation was on the light and dark side of the moon. 

“We had a contest where I showed a picture of a constellation with a star pointed out and students used a clipboard to find the name of that star,” Cabral said.

Cabral wasn’t the only presentation throughout the weekend though. Professor Haven had a presentation on why religion was created. The presentation talked about the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and how he believed religion was created to make slave owners treat slaves better.

The hiking trail occured on Sunday which was the final day of the getaway. 

“Everyone loved the Yosemite hike,” Saito said. She explained how there are over 700 steps where you can see the Vernal Falls and the Nevada Falls.

“The absolute best part of the trip though was the three mile hike back down the trail through the forest,” honors student Katherine Mustar said. She had said that she liked the hiking trip all the way up to the top of the Nevada Falls.

“I had a great time and limitless amount of photo opportunities,” Mustar said.

Everyone on the trip really enjoyed themselves. With tons of new memories being made and inspiring conversations shared, the getaway was a complete success.

“All the students that I talked to were happy to be there,” Saito said.