Class Update

Dear Families,

We were glad to see many of you at the Coloma Information Night last Thursday. For those of you who were unable to attend, this letter will provide information about many of the topics we covered.

Departure and Return

    • Children will leave Santa Cruz around 6:30 am on Monday. The departure point depends on the driver
    • Children will depart Coloma at noon on Wednesday and will be back in town around 4:15. The drop-off point is determined by their driver


    • If your child is on restrictive diet, pack prepared meals in a cooler for the trip up, we will store in a refrigerator, kitchen at Coloma will warm it up
    • The handbook has a detailed menu and a list of allergens can be found here,


    • discrete distribution
    • provide proper dosage and administration directions
      • daily dose packaging is most helpful

Sleeping Accommodations

Note: If your child has not slept apart from you before (or very rarely), think about planning some sleepovers with families you are close to, to provide practice in a safe and familiar environment.

    • Sleep Issues: If your child has any, please be sure to explain them on the yellow form
    • Bed Wetting (Coloma has a system to discreetly wash and dry sleeping bags while the kids are learning during the day)

Learning Groups: Your child will be placed into one of two learning groups based on your child’s input and the observations of Kaia and Kurt. Durning non-instructional times, your child as the opportunity to connect with all of the students.

1st Day Dress Up: Kids can dress in authentic 1840’s style, with vests, caps, and bandanas or dresses and bonnets. We have some clothing to lend to girls.

1st Day Backpack: essential to pack separately from luggage

    • see items on page 11 of handbook; DON’T FORGET FOOD AND WATER!
    • CamelBacks and other bladder-like systems are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED; children do not close them as well as they think they do which results in leaks, and the nozzle can get dusty and gross

Clothing, Luggage, and Bedding

    • pages 11 & 12 in booklet
    • pack with your child so they know what’s going in the bag because they will be packing themselves when we depart
    • it is best if items are packed in a way that makes it easy for your child to carry without assistance
    • anything left behind is easier to get back if it has your child’s name in it along with Gateway School
    • Shoes appropriate for PE are appropriate at Coloma

REMEMBER TO GIVE US A LETTER FOR YOUR CHILD. We will give detailed instructions closer to the time of the trip.

Health and Safety

Everyone at the Coloma Outdoor Education Program is trained in First Aid

    • Hospital is about 15 minutes away in Placerville
    • Pay attention to your child’s health in the days before Coloma
      • DO NOT send a sick child to Coloma; there’s a chance you might have to come and get them. If your child recovers and is able to join the trip a day or two in, this is an option (as long as he/she is truly 100% healthy).



Here’s the link to a video, (parent info starts at 7:12) Please do not show it to your child. The experience is better if they don’t know what to expect.


Finally, if you are interested in dropping children off at Coloma on Monday or picking them up on Wednesday, please send an email to Kaia or Kurt. Be sure to let us know how many children you can take. Keep in mind, they will also have luggage.



Kaia and Kurt