Customized Schedules

OLD OAK RANCH AIMS TO PROVIDE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS WITH AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME THAT BRINGS THE CLASSROOM TO LIFE.  OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM STAFF ENGAGE THE STUDENTS IN A REAL-LIFE GOLD RUSH EXPERIENCE TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND AND REMEMBER THE MATERIAL THEY ARE LEARNING THEIR CLASSROOMS.  BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND THAT NO TWO CLASSES ARE THE SAME, WE WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH YOUR TEACHERS TO PROVIDE A CUSTOM SCHEDULE THAT WILL MOST BENEFIT YOUR STUDENTS.  BELOW ARE ALL THE DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES THAT OLD OAK RANCH OFFERS AS PART OF THE GOLD CAMP EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM.

  • GOLD PANNING

    At the heart of the Gold Rush is always a man with a pan. Regardless of which machine a miner used, at the end of the day, every miner would have to pan for gold. This back breaking work held the hope of future wealth and prosperity even in the midst of terrible misfortune and bleak circumstances. While acknowledging the pitfalls of the Gold Rush, students will experience the thrill and anticipation that miners felt as they try their hand at panning. They might just strike it rich!

  • CRADLES

    The invention of the Cradle, also known as the Rocker Box, was embraced by miners as a major step forward in the search for gold. This machine allowed miners to process dirt at a much faster rate because it called for three men working together as opposed to a single man working alone. Gold Campers can create their own three-man mining companies and experience the benefits of learning to work as a team.

  • LONG TOMS

    Old Oak Ranch is located in the town of Sonora, California. Sonora is one of many towns that stretch along the northwest and southeast regions of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The towns in this area are famously known as part of The California Mother Lode. After hearing of the numerous gold deposits in The Mother Lode, miners from all over the world flooded this area. Many miners had to develop more efficient ways to sift through soil in order to compete. The Long Tom when paired with a Sluice Box is a very efficient way to process more dirt in a shorter amount of time. Gold Campers can try their hand at working the Long Tom at Old Oak Ranch!

  • ARRASTRA

    The California Gold Rush inspired people to come from all over the world in search of wealth. The Mother Lode area was home to many Mexican miners who had their own unique mining methods. These miners, knowing that Columbia is known as dry diggings, used a dry mining machine called the Arrastra. Gold Camp students love to use the Old Oak Ranch Arrastra and experience the dry mining method.

Crafts and Games

Letter Writing

Many miners left their families and loved ones for months in hopes of striking it rich. To stay in contact, many would write letters to stay in contact. Students will write letters as if they are a miner that hasn't seen their family in months.

Soap Carving

Many of the miners in the 1800s had to make their own soap. This activity is fun for students to carve their soap into any design they like best.

California Bear Flag Activity

Students will make their own bear flag while learning about the origins of the California State Flag

19th Century Field Games

Students can be immersed into the 1800s by playing some of the same games kids back then would play.

Evening Entertainment

Storytellers

Cynthia Restivo

"Cynthia came to storytelling by way of theatre after touring Europe as an actor with the International Theatre. Between 1995-2009, Cynthia joined creative energies with BZ Smith to tell stories in tandem creating "the Storyquilters." Cynthia has performed individually and with the Storyquilters at schools, libraries and festivals throughout California. In 2005, had the great honor to speak at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesbourgh, Tennessee.  She has released two award-winning CDs of stories and songs, “Storyquilters” and “Blackberry Love.”

Cynthia currently works as a storytelling/theatre arts teacher at Aspire charter public schools in San Joaquin County, (CA).  Cynthia has been the proud recipient of the California Arts Council's Artist in the Schools grant for year-long residencies in Tuolumne County schools for several years. She is constantly developing and refining new stories to tell her 700+ students weekly.  Each year she directs 27-35 student productions of storytelling, musical theatre, puppetry, reader’s theatre, mime, improvisation and other short plays."

www.cynthiarestivo.com

B.Z. Smith & Peg Reza

BZ Smith launched her professional life in 1973. She brings folks together to build and create. One of her favorite "hobbies" is connecting people with common interests to share skills. “I love introducing people who want to build collaborations: People-to-People connecting the dots!”

Storyteller BZ Smith & Musician Peg Reza join together to offer a lively 50 minute program, rich in stories and songs of the California Gold Rush Era. Their audio recording project, Striking Up Gold Mountain, has won three national awards: A Parents’ Choice Gold Award, a Tillywig Toy Brain Child Award, & Creative Child Magazine’s Top CD of the Year.

www.hive-arts.org

Off Campus Excursions

Visit Columbia National Park

Old Oak Ranch is located only 15 minutes away from the historic Gold Rush town of Columbia.  Classes have the option to take a day trip down to the town where students will step into the 1850s and tour the town,  buy 19th century items, and learn about life in a 19th century "Gold Rush Town.”

Columbia State Historic Park

photo courtesy of visitcolumbiacalifornia.com

Visit Moaning Caverns

Another off campus excursion is the Moaning Cavern Adventure Park in Vallecito, CA. Classes can take a walking tour and go gem mining at this unforgettable, beautiful park.
"This popular 45-minute tour into the cave is suitable for the whole family. Professionally guided, the tour descends through well-lit marble passages into the magnificent natural wonder. Descending down 235 stairs to a depth of 165 feet below the surface, the tour ends on the spot where scientific excavations revealed the bones of prehistoric people who had fallen into the cavern thousands of years ago. Guides explain the history and geology of the cavern, and discuss the explorations that have traced the cavern to its current depth of 410 feet."

Old Oak Ranch

15250 Old Oak Ranch Rd Sonora,
CA 95370
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
phone: 209.532.4295