Idyllwild Arts Trip for Sophomores


Ellen Heitmann, Staff Writer


Idyllwild is a small town residing in the San Jacinto mountains. During the five-day long experiential education trip there, we visited the Idyllwild Arts School each day. There were many creative activities there ranging from dance to drawing and hiking. We also interacted with some of the students there and got to know how their life was generally like. After spending most of the day at the school, we would then return to the Idyllwild Pines camp for lodging and some free time.


On the first day, we were given a general tour around the school, then sat down to make Yucca brushes and art collages. The brushes were made out of Yucca fibers that we took and tied together. For collages, we would take various images or words out of magazines and then glue them onto our paper to start forming a collage. Following that, we met with some other students for a drumming activity. Everyone was given something they could use as a drum, whether it be a bucket or an actual drum, then we played along with the other students there. This went on for about an hour until we stopped for dinner and headed back to the Idyllwild Pines. At the Pines, we were free to spend our time however we pleased. There were small cabins to the side of a large field which was in front of a chapel. Each day I’d spend my time playing either piano or violin in the chapel.

The next morning, we ate at the Pines before heading back to the school via multiple small buses. The first activity of that day was finishing up our collages, which we then made into books. We folded some blank sheets of paper into pages and sewed them together, using the collage as the cover. Following that, there were some improv games and activities which provided a lot of fun. One of them that I personally liked was where they would give you a topic and say either you really love it or you really hate it. Normally the topics didn’t line up with your actual beliefs, which made it pretty funny. After the topic was decided, you would have to dramatically rant about it while the instructor could tell you to either get really loud or really quiet using hand motions. I ended up having to scream about how much I “hate” trees.

On the third day, we started off with a drawing activity. A professional model stood in the center of the room and we were all sitting at tables which encircled her. We then attempted to draw the model in different poses to the best of our ability. At first, we were only given charcoal to test it out, but eventually we got more materials. A quick nature hike followed that. We didn’t go too far but stopped for a long time to draw or write as we pleased. It was a lot more peaceful than it was difficult or intense. The day ended with some various dance activities. Beginning with some basic move tutorials, we put together a full and generally easy dance for the entire class to perform together in sync.

The fourth day mainly consisted of drawing and hiking, but we finished it off by performing our improv activities and dance for the other students. An author came and spoke to us which was rather interesting. We returned to school the next morning.

Food and Environment

The food was generally pretty good in my opinion. We ate breakfast at the Idyllwild Pines and lunch at the school. Dinner could go either way, but we normally ate at the pines. There was a favorable amount of variety in the food, and we always had many options. Breakfast usually consisted of either cereal or things such as eggs, sausage, and other typical breakfast foods. Rice was always an option during lunch and dinner at the school, but the rest varied quite a lot. There was also a free fountain drink machine at the school which was pretty nice.

Since it was in a forested mountain range, the scenery consisted of many trees and animals. We commonly spotted squirrels and bunnies along with multiple types of birds. Temperatures generally ranged from the forties to the seventies each day, so it was significantly colder than it is here in La Jolla. The environment overall provided a lot of impressive and beautiful scenery which made hikes actually rather enjoyable. All of the instructors and students I met were all very kind as well.

Is It Worth Going There?

In my opinion, it was one of the better school trips. The activities were all enjoyable, the scenery was great, and I would say it was a pretty good experience. If you have an interest in arts then I’d definitely recommend it. Overall I’d rate the trip a 7/10.