Discover the California Backcountry

Click here to open the Backcountry Gazette (pdf)
Click here to see a sample BackcountryTrail Head screen capture
Click here to see Backcountry Postcard (pdf)

Camp Internet hosts a multi-subject online learning expedition called Explore the California Backcountry that integrates teacher technology training with in-class, standards-based learning activities for students grades 4-9. Every week new study units are featured and live interactive learning activities are offered. Students and teachers learn to use technology-based resources as an integrated part of their classroom learning and are encouraged to develop hands-on projects: GPS, GIS, school gardens, weather stations, and the Camp Passport question and answer folios earn every student color incentive passport stamps for each area of the project completed.

Unique to the California Backcountry track are studies of:

  • Native California tribes - pre-contact and as they adapted to survive

  • First Explorers - from mountain men to wagon loads of early settlers

  • Gold Rush - the first golden year to the wild mining camps to its industrialization

  • The California Railroad - how it came to cut through the Sierras

  • Arts and Writers - the first photographers and painters to explore the Backcountry and the important writers who shared the first views of the remote Backcountry with the world

  • John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt - a secretive, shared camping adventure changed the future of our National Parks forever.

  • Geology, Native Plants and Animals - arranged by regional mountain range and islands plus school garden projects growing pioneer's food sources

  • A Dinosaurs and Fossils - yes, dinosaurs have been found in California !


Meet the Famous Explorers

From Mark Twain to Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London, now world-famous writers cut their teeth in the California Wilderness. Earlier writers like Brett Harte and Joaquin Miller created the Western Regionalism genre and then traveled the world - sometimes dressed in buckskins - to share the mysteries of the California Backcountry with salons in Europe. The first American photographers - Carleton Watkins and Eadweard Muybridge - carried massive equipment deep into the backcountry against remarkable odds to take the large plate photographs that drew painters to the West where the works of Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Hill came to influence the East - especially Congress, leading to establishing the National Park System.

The Backcountry also endured many struggles - from Native American survival, through the Chinese laborer's life threatening risks in building the railroad, to the battle for water at Hetch Hetchy that broke John Muir's heart - students have a chance to see inside the triumphs and sorrows settlement has brought to the Backcountry and will consider options for Backcountry preservation today with a spirit of inquiry that honors Muir's stewardship philosophies.

Come Meet the Amazing Explorers, Writers, and Artists of the Backcountry - Discover the First Peoples, Ancient Dinosaurs, and amazing Geology of the Mountain, Desert, and Island Backcountry with Camp Internet. Learn about the battles for lands and water, the building of the railroad and the Gold Rush as they impacted the Backcountry Wilderness - and how John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, and the artists and writers all worked to preserve the amazing natural resources of the California Backcountry.

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