We offer 1 or 2 day field trips for groups of 10 to 200 students. You’ll marvel at our California Gold Rush History / Native American Program. We use hands on activities to cover a unique blend of topics, from the physical and human geography of California, to Native American cultures and the economic, social and political effects of the California Gold Rush.

Students in our Gold Rush History program explore the following topics through hands-on outdoor activities:

  • Geology
    • Rocks, minerals and specific focus on the ‘Au’ element – gold!
  • Hydrology
    • Water cycle, continental drift, erosion, gold panning
  • Native American History
    • Native plant scavenger hunt, acorn grinding, story-telling
  • Human Geography
    • The three routes taken to California the Gold Rush, daily life of a miner

Students can see a representation of the town of Coloma in the Gold Rush days at Marshall Gold Discovery Park, the site of gold discovery in 1848, which is located a few minutes drive from our camp. At Mother Lode River Center, students will pan for their own gold and make Dutch oven cornbread in the style of the old miners.

The students had a great time in the outdoors while reviewing information they have studied and learning new things. The hands on experience of gold panning was one of the high points for the kids. It was a lot harder than they thought! –Rachael P.

Gold Rush History Program

Activities include: gold panning, native plant scavenger hunt, dutch over cornbread baking, acorn grinding, and guided tour of Sutter’s Mill & Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park,

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Curriculum Standards

The Gold Rush History program satisfies several of the California requirements for both social and science curriculum.

» Social science standards
» Science standards