Everyone on the bus is very excited. August is especially thrilled when he hears that Julian decided the trip was too dorky, so he isn't coming. They get to the nature reserve around noon, get their cabin assignments, and then have lunch. Afterwards, the students go for a hike in the massive trees. August is thankful for his hearing aids, as he's often the first person to hear bird calls. It starts raining in the afternoon, so the kids play in the rec room and have a campfire later. August thinks the campfire looks and sounds awesome, and he's in awe of all the stars he can see. He doesn't even need to read to fall asleep.
Given the fact that August implied that Julian's power has been waning at school, it's possible that Julian simply didn't want to be in a situation where he might be the victim of bullying rather than the perpetrator. If this is true, this illustrates the idea that all kids are hurt by the social structure that Julian himself perpetuated, as it's simply impossible for him to remain at the top of it forever.