On April 2-6, Ophir’s fourth grade class took a trip to the nation’s first national park, participating in Expedition Yellowstone, a curriculum-based, residential outdoor program offered by the National Park Service. This annual trip is organized by fourth-grade teacher Jeremy Harder and is widely anticipated by students. Here, students share their perspectives and favorite memories from the trip.

Geno

“Of the many things that we did on EY, the one that sticks out the most is probably when we saw
the bison standing right in front of the bus, right when we were about to leave. One of the bison
started to scratch its head on a traffic cone and then it got scared and jumped up and down.”

Baker

“I had never been this far away from my parents. Because it was around my birthday, and I had
all my friends with me, I was fine and I had fun. I connected with all sorts of people. That
helped me to be the kid I am today. I learned all sorts of stuff like geothermal activity and about
bison. EY was amazing!”

William

“EY was really fun, I was sad that it had to end. A life skill I took away from the trip was to stay
25 feet away from bison. I will never forget I saw a black wolf.”

Eli

“My favorite experience in Yellowstone was seeing bighorn sheep follow close behind the bus. I
don’t think anyone else saw them. I will take this with me throughout life because I think it is
special if you are the only one to see something.”

Lauren

“Expedition Yellowstone was a great experience, from seeing all types of animals like bison,
coyotes and a wolf. But the next thing you know it’s time to go. I will have good memories of
this place.”

Kaylee

“When I first came to Yellowstone, I was nervous but excited at the same time. However, when I
got to my cabin and set up, I knew I would have fun and I did. On the last night we all sat around
‘Bob’ the campfire, balling our eyes out.”

Poppy

“My favorite experience of EY was seeing a black wolf on the ecology day. Ranger Lauren taught
us to put your thumb up and if it covers the entire animal then you are a good distance away from
the animal.”

Avery

“When I arrived at EY18 it was nerve racking. I stepped off the bus and looked around at bison on
the hill, the tiny cabins and the river. We took a tour around camp. I was nervous for the first
night. We went to the bunkhouse to eat and I walked back to my cabin. It took me a while to fall
asleep but I finally drifted off to sleep.”

Mickey

“I felt like I made a big connection with the park and my friends. We saw cool animals in
Yellowstone. In my opinion it was the best time of my life.”

Hana

“My favorite part of EY was seeing all of the animals. My life skill was communicating with
others because we did a lot of working together.”