Winterim–Lab Rats Disney

Clarksville Academy Students in the Disney Lab Rats spent the first week of Winterim learning robotics coding and learning the physics principles of roller coasters.

Yesterday, these 16 students traveled to Disney World to see the science behind the park.  Students will take courses in Exploring Careers in Zoological Sciences and Energy and Waves Physics Lab.  Like their Leadership counterparts, students will take course in the mornings and will be asked to document evidence of what they learned as they enjoy the parks in the afternoon.


Day 1: Today students learned about careers in zoological sciences at the Animal Kingdom.  Led by Abby, an educator with expertise in the field, began by telling students about the park and how each part focuses on conservation.  The tree of life is modeled after an oil rig.  We rode Kilimanjaro Safari and learned about the steps taken by Disney to function as a zoo and the many careers involved in the care of animals and development of their habitats. Student played games and participated in demonstrations before heading “off stage”. In this area no cameras are allowed. Students went to the Tembo house, where elephants receive care. We met ectotherm specialist Trevor and his snake, Siba.  Nutrition for the animals was discussed and preparation was observed. We even saw Disney veterinarians operate on an antelope!  Abby described the many careers that play a role in maintaining a zoo and shared her experiences with the students. Tomorrow we will head to the Magic Kingdom to learn about energy and waves, and development of special effects.


Day 2: Today’s lesson focused on energy and waves, and how both are used in the Magic Kingdom.  Our leader, Rusty, discussed types of waves and their properties.  Students created a human circuit to successfully power a light. We rode The Little Mermaid ride to demonstrate the manipulation of sound to enhance rides. Students rode the Haunted Mansion and then were taken underneath the ride! We saw how Disney uses mirrors and scrim to create the Pepper’s ghost illusion used throughout the ride. We were able to watch riders in “doom buggies” from the other side of the dancing figures in the haunted ballroom.  Forced perspective is used all over the park to trick the eye.  Our final stop was Mickey’s Philharmagic.  All of our lessons merged with this attraction that manipulates sound and light, in addition to using other sensory tricks to create a rich experience. For example, over 180 speakers are used in that attraction.  They range in size and direction to create a magical show.


Day 3: Today’s experience focused on the art of Disney.  We participated in two classes at the Contemporary Resort. Our first class taught the history and techniques of cel animation. Artists Gina and Lynn, who worked on “The Princess and the Frog” and “The Little Mermaid ” took students through the steps of creating their own cels. Our creations will be dried and shipped next week. Kevin, one of Disney’s professional photographers, led our second class. Students received a set of lenses to use with their phones. Kevin gave the students five tasks in and around the resort. He proceeded to demonstrate and discuss tips to take great pictures and had students use the tips to redo their tasks. We then compared the images before and after learning professional techniques.  Kevin was adamant that the type of camera is not what makes a great picture. The photographer’s choices are what can make a cell phone picture look professional.  After our classes we visited the Animal Kingdom. Tomorrow we return home.

Winterim–Leadership Disney

Clarksville Academy students in the Disney Global Leaders spent the first week of Winterim identifying their Strengths as Leaders and as Individuals and using these strengths to complete various challenges such as a Marshmallow Paper Bag Challenge and a Robotics Coding Challenge.

19 students  traveled to Disney World to learn even more about leadership as they take courses in Managing Your Personal Brand and the Disney Leadership Strategies. Students will spend the mornings learning the new curriculum and during their afternoons in the park, they will be asked to identify evidence that exemplifies these lessons.


Day 1: On Monday, the Disney Leadership students took a class entitled “Examining Your Personal Brand!” Students had the chance to self-reflect on how they present themselves through everything from dress to what they post on social media. They also set goals for the future! We then turned our perspective outward and evaluated branding and experience through the Disney Corporation in the Rock N Roller Coaster!! We spent the day exploring Magic Kingdom and capped our first day with phenomenal fireworks!


Day 2: On Tuesday, Disney Leadership students spent the day at Epcot! The morning seminar was entitled “Disney Global Leadership Strategies.” Throughout the morning students evaluated three types of a Leadership and how they are actualized in the Disney Corporation. We rode “Soarin’” and learned the history of how one imagineer took on the Leadership to create the physics behind the experience! We spent the afternoon exploring the countries at Epcot and sampling way too many tasty treats! In the evening, students opted to head back to the resort and spend some fun time relaxing at the pool!


Day 3: Today, Disney Leadership has the good fortune to return to Hollywood Studios and to have a second course, from our new favorite instructor, Dave! Through hands on activities and riding a couple more roller coasters, we learned about how rollers coasters manipulate gravity and speed to function!! What better example of both gravity and speed than The Tower of Terror!! We also learned about how the science and set design interact to tell a story!! We are now in Animal Kingdom ready for yet another phenomenal day!!


Disney Leadership Winterim: Day 4

On Thursday, there was no seminar, and it was Hollywood Studios Day!! Half of the students elected to wake in the pre-dawn, to check out of the hotel, and to race with a mass of other Star Wars fanatics for a place in an electronic cue to ride the new Rise of the Resistance!! We were successful!! It was spectacular!! Students rode the Rockin’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror repeatedly until it was time to leave for the airport. We arrived in Nashville at midnight and Clarksville by 1 a.m.! We were exhausted but elated after a 22-hour day!!

Winterim–Backcountry Camping

Our Backcountry hiking course is designed for the high purpose of experiencing and observing self and nature for the improvement and appreciation of both. Some excellent benefits of this course are personal health, maturity, and independence. We’ll also learn some practical survival skills and have an adventure. During our two weeks together we’ll spend time learning about gear, practices, principles and philosophies of hiking. We’ll also take several hiking trips, each one longer than the last, culminating with a 3 night backcountry hike in the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida. This year we have 7 young men participating and having a great time. Hammock camping is the way to go!!

Aside from on campus training, we had three main off campus events. First, we attended a training session at Dunbar Cave with ranger John Ball. We hiked at LBL, making a 5 mile loop to test our gear. Then we headed down to Florida and hiked 12 miles to a backcountry campsite in the Apalachicola National Forest.
We camped and hiked and learned about backpacking and prepping for survival in the wilderness. We got to know each other better and had a great time and got some great memories. This was a wonderful experience for our students. When asked about their trip a couple of the students commented,
“It was like a reset for my brain, so I can come back and I don’t take for granted the things I have.”
-Landon Bailey
“Keep your head up and look at the world around you”
-Tyler Lucas

Winterim–History & Government

Over the next two weeks, students will explore local history and learn more about government right here in Montgomery County.  Each day will be filled with interesting presentations and local trips to visit historical sites.

 

Day 1: The group welcomed CA Alum Mr. William Parker from Fort Defiance. Mr. Parker discussed importance of the Fort during the Civil War. Our afternoon was spent discussing guest speakers and trips scheduled during our two week adventure.


Day 2: The group hosted Mr. Don Horton, Civil War scholar who arrived in full frontiersman attire carrying a 12 pound musket! He discussed Land Grants, local historic figures and important sites in the Montgomery County area. Susan Hawkins, Park Ranger from Fort Donelson briefed the class on the importance of Fort Donelson and the impact of the Union’s capture of the Fort and taking control of the Cumberland River. Ranger Hawkins brought a traveling trunk of Civil War memorabilia, including a Confederate Uniform and various accessories carried by soldiers in the day. Student Thomas Wilson was kind enough to model one of the uniforms.  The group begins preparations to visit Fort Donelson on Day 3.


Day 3: Our Local History Group had a beautiful day to be outside as we visited Fort Donelson National Battlefield! Our guide was awesome, and we had an amazing time. Tours of the National Battlefield, the Upper and Lower Battery sites where the Confederacy launched artillery attacks on Union ironclad ships was a real highlight. Also, a refurbished Dover Hotel on the banks of the Cumberland river was an interesting stop. The Dover Hotel was the site where the Confederates surrendered Fort Donelson to Ulysses S. Grant. What a great day!

 


Days 4 & 5:

The group toured Fort Defiance and learned of the Fort’s importance to Clarksville and the war effort. Earthen mounds, cannons and a breathtaking view of Downtown Clarksville were the highlights of the trip. Local Relics and Treasures presented by Mr. Collins gave students the opportunity to see “vintage” collectibles from days gone by. CA Alum, Mr. William Parker visited our classroom and presented “A Soldiers Burden”, which depicted a day in the life of a Civil War soldier. What a great first week! Looking forward to learning more about local and state government next week!

 

Day 6:

Dr. Dewey Browder, Professor Emeritus from Austin Peay State University, and WWII scholar visited our group to discuss WWII and the Holocaust. Thanks to Dr. Browder for his awesome presentation! After the lecture, the group returned to Fort Defiance to help clear brush and tree limbs from the Park entrance. We are having a great time learning about history and participating in community service!


Day 7:

The Local History and Government Group participated in a City/County Government presentation led by EDC Director Jeff Truitt, Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, and County Mayor Jim Durrett.

Mayor Pitts and Mayor Durrett focused on City/County Government, and Mr. Truitt discussed the Economic Development of Clarksville and Montgomery County. Students learned how our local governments interact with one another to provide the people of Clarksville/Montgomery County the many services that we use and experience on a regular basis. Special thanks to Mr. Truitt for organizing this educational opportunity for our students!

Day 8:

What a Day! The group traveled to Nashville to tour the Tennessee State Capitol. The State House, Senate and Supreme Court Chambers were awesome. We were hosted by District 67 State Representative Jason Hodges, who extended the tour to include the Cordell Hull Offices and Committee Hearing rooms. As a special treat, each student received a copy of this year’sTennessee Blue Book, which honored the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Tennessee! Many thanks to Representative Hodges for taking time out of his busy schedule to show our students around the State Capitol.

Day 9: Our group visited the Montgomery County Election Commission. Elizabeth Black presented information about the Election Process and how Elections are administered. Voter Registration and the upcoming elections were also discussed. After our visit to the Election Commission, we walked over to the Montgomery County Archives to learn about the many historical documents and manuscript collections that are housed within the archives. Students learned about the document preservation process as well. Finally, we toured the Public Library where students were shown the many services offered by our Library, as well as the many technological upgrades that have been installed. Many thanks to all of these agencies for the time taken to educate our group on the services offered by our County Government!
Day 10: The last day of Winterim. The group toured the Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell. We enjoyed seeing the many exhibits that focused primarily on WWII and the Vietnam War. We have had a great two weeks together. I hope that our students learned something about our local history, and understand the importance of all the many treasures that we have right here in our surrounding areas! Thank You to our presenters, students and parents for allowing me the opportunity to spend the past two weeks with these fine students.

Winterim—Hawaiian Islands

A group of seven CA students and one teacher are visiting the Hawaiian Islands as part of the Winterim experience. Each day they will have immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture and lifestyle.  You can follow their experience on Instagram: @CAHawaii2020

Day 1 was a travel day and the group safely arrived in Hawaii!
Day 2, Written By: CA Senior, Akanee Angel,
Aloha CA family! After a long day of travel, we are writing to you from the beautiful beaches of Oahu, Hawaii.  Our first day on the island was filled to the brim with ocean water, pineapples, and cheeseburgers. We started off Winterim with a walk along Waikiki Beach, and right before we got on our tour bus, we met the most adorable dog named Breadfruit. (Seriously, go look at him. @alohabreadfruit) Our bus driver took us through the island of Oahu towards the district of Ko Olina. Here, we boarded the sailboat and started our journey of snorkeling. The constant breeze of the ocean paired with the enveloping warmth of the sun made the perfect relaxing environment.
The first part of the boat ride was focused on animal watching. We saw a mother and baby humpback whale and a pod of six dolphins! Once we reached our snorkeling destination, we dressed in our gear and jumped into the ocean. With most of our group being first-time snorkelers, there was a learning curve; we love to talk about how we “slurped up” the salt water multiple times. The one experienced diver on our trip––Dorothy––was even able to touch the sea floor. We saw almost every fish from Finding Nemo, and we were greeted by an adorable sea turtle. Following our snorkeling adventure, we ate Hawaiian barbecue on our way back. Akanee and Lily, overestimating their ability to control lettuce, lost much of it to the sea.
Driving back to our hotel, we decided we needed an outlet for all of our peers to see our adventures, so we made an Instagram, @cahawaii2020. Here you will see our rainbows and dinners of the day, along with the highlights of our trip.
At the end of the long day, we just wanted some comfort food, so we walked to a local restaurant called Rainbow’s Drive-in. This was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We talked for hours about snorkeling, airplanes, and crazy pet stories while enjoying our cheeseburgers and fries.
Our first day in paradise blew away our expectations, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of our Winterim holds.
 
Day 3: Written by CA Junior, Nicole Currie
Aloha, To start off our day, we went to Waikiki beach to watch the sun rise. Then, we drove through Ko’olau Mountain range, experiencing a beautiful view of the mountains.  We arrived at Kualoa Ranch for a horseback riding tour. This is the ranch where many movies and tv shows like Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, George of the Jungle, Jumanji, Hawaii Five-0, Lost, and many others were filmed.  The land was owned by King Kamehameha III and it is considered to be one of the most sacred places on the island of Oahu. Over the hour, we saw lots of plants and trees, and the view over the ocean blew us away. Our horses had names like Napoleon, Monet, Blue, Cappuccino, and Waimea. After, we grabbed lunch at North Shore Tacos. Even though this was a little shack off the road, these fresh tacos were the best we’ve ever eaten. We went on after on a hike to Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens and Waterfall.   The park holds educational presentations and workshops on Hawaiian Culture and history highlighting the surrounding lands, animals, and different species of tropical plant life.  After our mile hike, we swam in a thirty foot deep waterfall. The waterfall was so beautiful and refreshing. We finished off the day by relaxing under the sun and watching the sunset at Haleiwa Beach on the North Shore.

Day 4 Written by Senior Lily Butler:
Greetings from Hawaii!
This morning we woke up to what locals call liquid sunshine. The sun was shining bright with heavy rain showers, bringing a new rainbow to the sky. We started the day off with a trip down the street to Leonardo’s Bakery where we bought fresh malasadas, which are Portuguese donut, for our car ride to Pearl Harbor. We all enjoyed the warm, sugary, fried dough and ordered different types, including cinnamon and custard-filled. I think we came to a consensus that they were not even comparable to our local Shipley’s! When we arrived at Pearl Harbor, the wind was strong as we waited for our tour to begin. Leah tried to trick the birds into thinking she had food when she threw leaves to them, and they actually fell for it for a little while! Our tour began with a moving film on the historical context and details of the tragic Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. We took a ferry ride to go by the remains and monument of the USS Arizona, but we did not actually enter the monument, as the wind was too strong for the sailors to pull up close to the building. Instead, one of the Navy sailors narrated our boat ride and we learned about the architecture of the memorial. It’s shape (a rectangle with a dip in the middle) represents our country’s pride and ultimate victory, as the way it dips in the middle symbolizes the Great Depression and the upward slope signifies our return to prosperity. After this inspirational look at our nation’s history, we headed to the Dole Plantation. We boarded the Pineapple Express and learned about Hawaiian agriculture and Dole’s history. Specifically, we were fascinated by the origin of pineapples. They are believed to come from Paraguay before spreading into Mexico. Historians hold a likely theory that pineapples reached Hawaii due to a Spanish shipwreck off the Hawaiian coast that brought the tools and items necessary for pineapples to be grown in Hawaii. Today, pineapple is popular worldwide and is commonly known as a symbol of hospitality. We tried Dole Whip after our train ride, and it was basically summer in a cone! About 88% of us were immediate fans of the pineapple treat, but we still decided to stop for lunch at Uncle Bo’s as we approached the North Shore. After lunch, we browsed the surrounding shops and saw lots of cool stuff! So far we’ve noticed that Hawaiians are quite fond of SPAM, as there are SPAM recipe books in nearly every store. We rode back to the hotel and let down the windows to feel the soft breeze. Everyone planned to go to the pool, but the wind made it a bit chilly so we watched television together for a while. Later on, we made a light night trip downstairs for the hotel’s Taco Tuesday before turning in for the night. This day only made us more excited about the adventures to come on our Winterim!

Day 5:  Written by Senior, Skylar Baggett
Aloha! Today was our 5th day on the beautiful island of Oahu. We started our day by going to our favorite donut (malasada) shop, Leonard’s Bakery.  Check out Leonards story on their website,  https://www.leonardshawaii.com/about/ .  After that, we went to Hawaii’s largest open air flea market at the University of Hawaii football Aloha Stadium where there were rows of at least 300 local merchants with art, hand made items, Hawaiian local snacks and lots of souvenirs. There was sporadic rainfall throughout our time here, but fortunately we could stand under the vendors’ tents. While we were shopping, most of us decided to get Henna tattoos. Before our next stop, we decided to go eat at Popeyes. After we sparked a debate about the chicken sandwiches at Popeyes VS Chick Fil A, we went to the #1 rated beach in the US, Kailua Beach. We learned that ocean water is salty because acid in rainfall breaks down rocks on land, causing the particles to be carried away into the ocean. We spent the rest of our day body surfing, diving into waves and basking in the sun.
Day 6 Written by Junior, Leah Hayes

Aloha everyone ! Today we visited the Polynesian Culture Center in Lā’ie, Hawaii. When we arrived, our tour guide walked us through the different islands that make up the Polynesian triangle. The Polynesian Triangle includes: Tahiti, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Marquesas, Easter Island, and Hawaii. It is located in the Pacific Ocean and is approximately 16 million square miles.

New Zealand- This is a Western culture that is influenced by unique environments. We learned that one of their native hand shakes involve shaking hands and putting their foreheads together.
Samoa- There are three main parts in the Samoan culture, that is faith, family, and music. Our guide told us that the people of Samoa are very strict on what roles men and women have in life. Men are the ones who were in the kitchen. They produced fire and the food while it was considered disrespectful for women to be in the kitchen.
Tonga- Tongans are closely related to the Samoans and are located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. We learned that agriculture is the mainstay of the Tongan economy. Coconuts and bananas are the main cash crops.
Fiji- The Fijian culture is a rich and colorful culture. We learned that the kings temple had four entrances. Two of the entrances were for regular Fijian people, one was for the kings servants and guards, and the last one was only for the king. If anyone was caught coming in or leaving through the kings door, they would most likely be put to death.
Marquesas- The Marquesas Islands are home to a modest population of people. They are said to be the finest craftsmen throughout French Polynesia. We learned that they create large and excellent carvings along with tattoos and jewelry.
After we toured the different cultures, we went to a luau.  A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast accompanied by entertainment. We tried Kalua pig which was cooked in the ground for many hours, lomi salmon, poi, ahi poke, and delicious desserts.  While we ate, we learned about Queen Liliuokalani the last monarchy of Hawaii.  The Polynesian dancers performed the hula to many of the songs that were written by the queen while she was imprisoned. After we ate we headed to the Pacific Theater where they performed “Hā: Breath of Life” which tells a story of soul, the spirit of aloha, and ohana which means family.

Day 7: Written by CA Senior, Dorothy Deeds
We started off our day with a beautiful hike at Diamond Head. Diamond Head was a volcano than went dormant and turned into a crator. The view from the top of the mountain was breathtaking. It is estimated the cone is anywhere from 400,000 to 500,000 years old.  We were able to see the entirety of the crator as well as the mountains and ocean surrounding O’ahu.  After the hike we enjoyed some delicious food.  Most of the group had pizza made in a hawaiian fashion and the others enjoyed fresh sushi. The next thing on our to do list was to snorkel at Hanauma Bay.  Hanauma Bay was also a volcano at one point but over hundreds and thousands of years was worn down by the ocean to create a bay that inhabits many different species.  It is a pristine marine ecosystem that is protected by the city of Honolulu. Every visitor must watch a nine minute video so they can learn about the marine life, preservation and safety rules for the park. After we laid out on the beach for a while, we headed back to our hotel in Waikiki. We decided to shower up and walk down the street from our hotel and and find some dinner. We ended up eating at OMG, Oahu Mexican Grill and had some delicious nachos, tacos, burritos, salads, and quesadillas. Now it is time to hit the hay and get some rest for our busy day tomorrow!

Day 8 Written by Senior Nadiya Stowe:
Before we start our journey to the museum , we go to Starbucks, the ABC Store, and the laundry mat. The laundry mat was either self service or drop off service. It was something new and fun for most of us. We went to the Iolani Palace. The Palace had many different rooms such as: the blue room, gold room, imprisonment room – which was the emotional room, a library, guest rooms, informal dining room, and more. This was the last of Hawaii’s kingdom because Americans annexed them to a U.S. territory in 1893 with Queen Liliokalani being the queen. In 1959 Hawai’i became the 50th state.   After the museum, we went out to eat and headed to Makaha beach. The beach had huge blue waves that swept us off our feet. There were surfers and people on boogie boards. It was quite a fun and funny experience. We stayed at the beach until sunset and went to our hotel to shower. We got dinner and we were in for the night!

Day 9 Written by Senior Akanee Angel:
Aloha! Today, we boarded a forty minute flight, and Kona and the Big Island welcomed us with some sprinkling rain and the outdoor airport. The Big Island of Hawai’i is about 4,050 square miles about the size of Connecticut but continues to grow every day from the very active volcano, Kīlauea. We boarded our second rental car, which we named the Yacht. On our way to the hotel, we drove down a road lined with black lava fields, goats, and mongoose.   The lava fields were made when the lava cools quickly it forms a extrusive igneous rock. Our resort, the Hilton Waikoloa, is incredible—there are three different wings with a lagoon and connected with a tram service. Once we checked in, we explored the shopping center near the resort. Then we got in the Yacht and drove around the island. The craziest view was on the main highway: it was once again lined with lava fields, but on the left was the ocean and beach, and the right housed a mountain, Mauna Kea with snow on top. Yes, snow in Hawaii! Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on Hawaii at 13,803 feet above sea level.   After the tiring day, we retired early and enjoyed a good night sleep before an early morning. The Big Island is very different from Oahu. It is much less touristy, and there is so much open land. It makes it easier to admire the nature, and the calmness is a lot more apparent here. I love both islands for their own reasons, but I do feel a lot more at peace in Kona. Something that I can’t help but notice throughout our entire trip is the aloha spirit. In places like the Polynesian Cultural Center and even at the rental car center, people call us “ohana,” which means family. Everyone we have crossed paths with has simply been kind. And that has transferred to us as well. I have never been with a more loving and giving group of girls, and I hope to take this aloha spirit back home with me.

Day 10:  Written by Seniors, Skylar Baggett & Lily Butler

Aloha again! Today we woke up early to go on a snorkeling and sailing adventure. We rode out into the ocean for a while so the captain could take us to the best spot for snorkeling. We spent most of our time in Kealakekua Bay, which is an open cove backed by a magnificent cliff face of stone. The name of the cove directly translates to “passage of the gods.” In tribal days, chiefs and nobility lived in the west side of the bay while the commoners resides on the eastern section. During those times, the cliff was used as a mausoleum for chiefs. Early Hawaiian people believed that one could steal the talents of the dead through remains, so the bones of chiefs were hidden in the holes of the cliff. Young boys from eleven to sixteen would compete for the chance to be the person lowered along the cliff side to hide the bones, but once the bones were stowed away the rope holding them up would be cut, dropping them onto the sharp rocks below. However, this bay is not simply well known because of its significance to tribal Hawaii. It’s actually a popular spot because of its relevance to the story of Captain Cook, an English explorer. In 1796, the captain set off to find a northwest passage, but when he only saw icy waters he knew that no such path existed. Not wanting to return home in defeat, he decided to map out the Pacific and this led him to Hawaii. He discovered Hawaii and its indigenous people during their celebration of peace, and they welcomed him as a messenger from their god of the sea. Cook took advantage of their adoration of him and only gave the people some fishing hooks in exchange for all their hospitality. When one of his men contracted malaria and died, he was put in the pools that were used as a water source. As more people contracted malaria the Hawaiian people began to resent Cook, and sensing the tension he left. However, not long into his voyage his mast broke and he returned to the island for help. Unfortunately, the Hawaiians were in the midst of celebrating their god of war, and realizing he was no messenger of the gods, they refused to help him and asked him to leave. Angry, Cook made the error of stepping towards the chief, which was a crime punishable by death in tribal society. He was immediately killed, and his bones were put in the cliff so nobody could take his skills of cartography. Today, a small piece of land at the cove contains a memorial for him and the tiny area actually belongs to Britain. We remembered the rich history of the bay as we snorkeled and swam alongside beautiful fish and coral. When we were back on land, we went to a black sand beach. We enjoyed climbing on the rocks bordering the ocean and relaxing under the shade of the palm trees. As the sun started to go down we left to eat a nice dinner at the Hilo Bay Cafe. It was a nice dining experience and we returned to the hotel ready to rest up for another day in paradise!


Day 11, Written by CA Senior Lily Butler:
Our time in Hawaii has flown by and it’s so hard to believe it’s our final day! We started off the morning with a breakfast buffet at our resort and hurried to reach the bus for our volcano tour. There we met Warren, our own tour guide. We then headed towards the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and on the way we listened to Warren while taking in the natural beauty around us. We learned that Hawaii is on a tectonic plate that moves four inches a year, so in a couple thousand years the islands will most likely be right next to Japan. Warren also explained that there are 5 major volcanoes on the big island and one of them, Mauna Kea, is actually taller than Mount Everest when measured from its summit to its base below the sea. These volcanoes often cause damaging earthquakes. Our tour guide remembers his Grandma telling the story of how their family moved from the big island to O’ahu to avoid the many tremors caused by the nearby volcanoes. As we continued on our drive, we saw the surface of a lava tube cave system, the big island’s first church, and even some peaceful protesters. There is currently an endeavor to build a 30 meter telescope, which is 14 stories high, on one of the slopes, but many locals oppose this. They don’t mind the telescope itself, but think it should be in a more secluded location. They are reverent to the beautiful mountains, and hope to preserve the scenery of Hawaii. Even now, Hawaii looks far different than it must have before America’s annexation of the land and the arrival of early tribes. Before Hawaii was occupied, the people of other Polynesian civilizations noticed that birds migrated to their islands each year. Knowing the must derive from some other land formation, they would sail and follow the birds as far as they could. The Polynesians maintained this practice for many generations until they discovered all of the Hawaiian Islands and created new civilizations. After learning all of this fascinating information and more, we stopped to sample a wide variety of locally produced coffees and teas at the Royal Kona museum and coffee mill. While there, Skylar claimed she consumed the most coffee she’d ever had in her life. When we got back in the bus, Leah wanted to tell a story from our visit to the flea market on Oahu, and Warren let her speak into his microphone headset! Later on, we went to and ate Hawaiian style plate meals and sweet malasadas at the Punalu’u Bake Shop. Full and energized we drove along the Hawaiian countryside where there were once sugar cane farms. We reached the volcano park and when we were up to 4,000 feet in elevation we looked out over the Kīlauea Iki Crater. Being this high up, it was a bit chilly so we moved on after a few minutes. We went and saw craters from different viewpoints and walked on cooled lava rocks with hues of black, red, and orange. Just by the rocks we could see how the lava had once flowed through the land and some areas even had ash remaining on them. We went to the park’s visitor center and learned about how the Kilauea Volcano has changed from the events in 2018 where it drained lava into the island’s lava tubes. After leaving the volcano park, we went to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation and got to try samples of all the fun flavors they have— everything was so good! The shop is surrounded by orchards that contain 250,00 macadamia trees, which makes for a pretty drive. When we returned to the hotel a little while later, some of us went swimming in the resort’s gigantic pool before getting ready for dinner. For our final dinner together, we went to Macaroni Grill and reminisced on our favorite activities from our time in Hawaii— this trip has been such a fun, informative experience. Mahalo for keeping up with our Winterim!


Winterim–Cooking, Fitness, Nutrition

The cooking, fitness, & nutrition Winterim is led by Mr. Shaine Walker.

Day 1:

Our group will spend the week learning at the UT/TSU Extension Center on Cumberland Heights Road. Today we learned about different safety measures for cooking and were able to to test this knowledge in their commercial kitchen. CA Alumna Amanda Pitt, led our program today.  Tomorrow we dive right into our cooking curriculum with a lesson on making pasta!
Day 2:
Tuesday our students work on different pastas that they decided to make. These recipes were chosen by students and made within their groups today. We made Ricotta/Pepperoni filled Jumbo Shells, Chicken Alfredo, Home-made Ramen, Vegetable Farafelle, and a Vegan Alfredo with Zuccihni/Squash noodles. These is pictures of most items above and will be more coming tomorrow. Along with these lovely dishes our 4H Agent Amanda Pitt helped students learn about the sugars in drinks and their effects. We also went over all the different types of pots, pans, knives, and what their purposes are.

Day 3: Today was Soup day. We had students try several recipes out while also getting a little adventurous with making bite size snacks for others. Today we had stuffed mushrooms, homemade garlic bread, chicken noodle soup with homemade dumplings, tomato based spicy potato soup, chicken tortilla soup, and a classic tomato soup with grilled cheese. All of the students did a fantastic job working together and learning more about what type of equipment to use. Some students learned more about cutting and prepping. While we had others browning beef for the first time. Overall another great day with some great food!


Day 4: Day 4 was more about smaller bites, so we made things like energy balls, sausage croissants, sliders with beef and sausage/egg, granola, and we even had a chance to make a meatloaf. The students have been taking initiative with making their dishes and making edits where needed. Tomorrow is our last day of cooking and we do not have a theme. I cannot wait to see what recipes they submit and make.

Day 5: Today all the groups made something they wanted to try their hand at. One group made the sausage croissants for everyone they were taught  yesterday. While another group did fajita steak, potatoes, and asparagus,  and another group made pork tenderloin. Other dishes included  Berry Smoothies, Chicken Enchiladas, Snicker Doodle, Sanwhiches, Brownies, Milkshakes, and French Onion Soup with Baguettes. I would like to put out a huge thank you to the 4H program at the UT/TSU Extension Center for letting us use that space for the week and Amanda Pitt our 4H Agent for teaching the students about nutrition and healthier decisions.
This week the group has explored Fitness around Montgomery County. We have visited local parks and Clarksville Climbing.

Winterim–Mt. Everest

On Saturday, Jan 4, nine students and one teacher embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.  Their goal?  To hike to basecamp on Mount Everest in Nepal at 17,598 ft and in the very shadow of summit.  Led by CA Parent, Tony Sonnabend this group of students will experience Buddhist Culture, Nepalese activities and hike more than six hours a day to make their destination.  They will visit Tibetan and Buddhist Monasteries that have been on the slopes of the mountain for generations, and meet and interact with the indigenous people that call the Himalayas home.  A complete blog of their trip will be available upon their return, but for now, check back often for photos and short updates!

 

After 24 hours of travel students have arrived in Luka, Nepal and are ready to take on Everest!


Students have spent another day hiking, hiking, hiking!  While we slept the students made it to just under 12,000 ft of elevation ( gaining 3850 ft in 10 miles of hiking). It snowed on them, but the kids, adults and guides kept going! Tonight they will spend the night in the Namche Bazar.


These are  morning views from our teahouse in Namche Bazar, before we hiked the kids up to the Norgay Tensing Museum.  Sherpa Tensing was the man who summited Everest first on May 29th, 1953 with British climber Sir Edmund Hillary. Another fantastic day in the Himalayas!


The students left Namche Bazar for a 9 hour hike ending in Dingboche. They visited an ancient and storied Buddhist Monastery. The students are getting closer and closer to Base Camp!


Nine Clarksville Academy Students reached Everest Base Camp on Tuesday, after a 8 day trek through the Himalayas. EBC is situated 17,600 feet up on the tallest mountain in the world. The students dealt with extreme cold, altitude sickness and challenging terrain. The trip was organized and chaperoned by CA parent Tony Sonnabend and his company UK International Tours. He was assisted by CA faculty member Mrs. LaurenDrake, along with a professional photographer, an English climbing guide and a team of local Nepalese Sherpa guides and porters.

Asked to describe his experience on the trip, CA Senior Garrett Burger said, “This past 8 days has been equal parts breathtaking and extremely challenging. I have needed constant self discipline to conquer each days challenges. I have come to truly understand the beauty in the struggle…”

The group is currently trekking back to Lukla, before spending a day in Kathmandu and then one more in Istanbul en route home to the United States.

Organization 101

Kayla Morgan, FUSE Coordinator


When I was asked to write a blog post on organization, I giggled. Me? Organized? Yet as crazy as life on the hamster wheel can seem, the reality is that I am a very organized person. Without organization being present in my life, that hamster wheel would turn into the exercise ball, rolling down a set of stairs, with a loose lid… and no one wants a hamster loose in their house!

So where to begin? There is no perfect recipe for living an organized life. We all have our own routines, and things that we have found to work for our families. Some prefer mapped out methods, whereas others are more about day-to-day survival. One thing we all more than likely have in common is the desire to come out of each day with our head above water and the majority of our checklist complete.

Let’s Go Home

Who doesn’t love being in the comfort of a freshly cleaned house where everything is in its place? We begin and end our days at home; therefore, it makes sense that starting our journey to organization begins there.

De-cluttering is a must. Although I am not a follower of The KonMari Method, I do love the idea of asking yourself, “Does it spark joy?”. Periodically cleaning out different areas of your home, while asking yourself this question along the way, can really help begin the process. Before you can truly organize your belongings you need to know what you have. The ability to locate everything at home, even if that means inside of stacked and labeled Tupperware boxes, will eliminate stress and frustration in those moments when you just need things to come together easily.

Once you have cleaned out, have a yard sale with a goal in mind to get something that your family is really wanting or needing. If you are not up for the “fun” of having a sale, head to the donation spot of your choice. The weight of all of your “non-joy bringing junk” will instantly be lifted off of your shoulders!

It’s easy for organization to fly out the window in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Here are some of my personal tips for everyday organization at home.

  • Eliminate “drop-zones” by creating a family command center. Give each family member an assigned area to place their belongings as soon as they arrive home each day. This is also a great place for chore charts or a family to-do list.
  • Keep a family calendar visible so that everyone can stay up to speed on what is coming up.
  • Map out the week each Sunday so that you have time to seek out help or rearrange plans if necessary.
  • Plan out your meals for the week, but be realistic. Everybody needs a pick-up dinner or fend for yourself night at least once a week.
  • Keep a running grocery list. Quick stops at the store add up fast, and take up time that most of us don’t have to spare.
  • Keep extras on hand. Buy quickly consumed school supplies when it goes on clearance, and keep it for replenishing as the year goes by. I also keep essentials like paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, extra toothbrushes, hairspray, eyeliner, and obviously… coffee… in stock.
  • Have a designated homework area that is free from distraction.
  • School stacks are perfect for students. I tell my students to pick a

    spot near a plug, where they can stack their school items before bed, plugging their technology in right on top. This makes mornings much easier.

  • Pack lunches and lay out clothes the night before. If you are like me, you’re spinning out of the driveway on two wheels each morning to make it to where you’re going on time.
  • Establish morning and evening routines. Realistically, we all function better when we know what to expect. Set your family up for success by putting these plans in place and sticking to them.
  • Straighten up before bed each night. Something is to be said about waking up to a neat house. Although it may be hard to muster up that five extra minutes of energy once everyone is in bed, you’ll be glad you did it the next morning.
  • It never fails that our brains catch their second wind once our heads hit the pillow. To avoid the anxiety of forgetting something the next day, try sending yourself emails, setting reminders in your phone, keeping a list in your notes app, or simply keeping a notepad by your bed.

    In the Midst of the Grind

    Outside of home, in the middle of your daily grind, what are things that you can do to try and stay on top of it all? This is a question with unlimited answers. It’s really all about trying different things and picking what works best for you. Realistically, what works in one phase of life, may not in the

next. What works for one family, may miserably fail for another. It’s okay to mix it up and to do it your way. Here are a few ideas you can try.

  • good old-fashioned daily to-do lists
  • use post-it notes to leave reminders where they can’t be missed
  • prioritize tasks and have a daily/weekly routine to meet goals
  • use a paper planner or a planner app
  • set reminders for important deadlines or appointments
  • use Google Docs (good for running grocery/to-do lists)
  • use family organization apps that can be shared on devices
  • follow organization blogs for new and fresh ideas
  • Pinterest boards for storing ideas/planning events
  • keep a neat and organized work space
  • keep a trash can/bag in your car and necessities in your console

    I hope that through reading this post you have gained at least one idea you feel could help you in your quest for organization. I’ll leave you with words from the insightful Benjamin Franklin, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”

    Now, I’ve got to go get my life together!

Going Back to School

By: Amy Burchett, Admissions Director & Christie Burger, Admissions


Whether you are new to your child’s school community or have been there for years, is it time for you to consider walking the halls again alongside your child? Research shows that increased parent participation at a child’s school directly effects student performance and emotional well – being.  So, grab your backpack and your sack lunch and let’s explore the importance of becoming, or continuing to be, an active member in your child’s school community.

Getting involved within your child’s school community can be much easier than you think.  From filling-in your name on a classroom sign-up sheet, to holding an office in your schools parent association, every effort makes a difference.  Here are a few ideas about how you can get involved:

1. Attend a home or away sporting event.

2. Visit your child for lunch or even volunteer to be a lunchroom monitor.

3. Become a member of your school’s parent association.

4. Offer your expertise for school events and fundraisers.

5. Become a club or team sponsor.

6. Volunteer to be a guest speaker or reader in a classroom.

Over time, you will begin to see and feel the benefit of going back to school. Chances are, your child will too. Not only will you have the opportunity to build new relationships with other parents and school staff, you will be showing your child the importance of school, community, and service. On average, students will spend 1,000 hours in school each year. How can you make just one of those hours better?

Understanding the Teen Brain!

By: Denise Walker, School Counselor


The mind of a teenager can be perplexing.  Do you ever wonder why your teen makes the decisions they do? Does it seem like all logic and reasoning have gone out the window?  Or, you may be wondering why your child can’t remember to take out the trash, bring home their study guide, or do their homework.  It may be reassuring to know their brain is not fully developed.  A large part of the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain involved in decision-making, planning, and self-control, is the last part to mature.

 

It’s not that teens don’t have frontal-lobe capabilities, but rather, their signals are not getting to the back of the brain fast enough to regulate their emotions.  Things can be further compounded when the emotional part of the brain and the rational part don’t develop at the same rate. But wait, it gets better.  Then, sprinkle in excitable hormones and peer pressure and you have a teenager with overwhelming emotions.

 

Whew…what is a parent to do? You are the most important role model in your child’s life.  Your teen is watching how you respond to each and every situation, which can have a profound effect on them.  Remember your teen is still developing and maturing and they are not fully equipped to strategize the most logical way to problem solve.  Talk with your child, get to know what is important to them, remind them they are resilient, and help them explore various consequences for their actions.  Most teens are not capable of making mature decisions and benefit greatly from guidance.

 

It is easy to get frustrated by the teen brain, but it is important to remember decision-making takes practice.  Next time you have to make a big decision, show your teen how you work through this process.  While it might be easy to step in and solve your teen’s problems, help them navigate the decision-making process that comes with problem solving.  With your guidance, as they grow they will learn to make the right decisions.  You want to provide your teen with tools to do this on their own instead of making decisions for them.

 

Teens experience a lot of physical changes, and it’s easy to forget the cognitive changes happening inside their brain.  Just remember to enjoy watching your teen blossom into a young adult.  Always be an exemplary guide, offer support, love, and advice when necessary.  Understanding the development of your child’s brain can help you support them in becoming independent, responsible adults.

 

 

 

Begin Your Journey.