The immediate hands-on, sensory experience of spending time in the outdoors is a crucial part of our students’ education. Developing an appreciation of the beauty and tranquility of the natural world is also key to their understanding their place in the natural world. The lessons in the challenges of camping make our students more resilient and adaptable in all aspects of their lives.
The 7th Grade starts off the fall semester with a three-day orientation trip to 100 Elk, an outdoor education center in Buena Vista, Colorado. The 8th Grade also participates in an camping orientation; they spend 3 days near Los Brazos, near Chama where they are guided in learning to work together in teams and begin to learn to be more responsible for themselves and each other, all the while setting personal goals, and setting the tone for the Middle School as a whole.
In late January, the Middle School participates in Winter Wonder Days spending four Mondays in the snowboarding, skiing, or snowshoeing.
At the end of the school year, the seventh grade will come together for an overnight camping trip at Ghost Ranch. The eighth graders go on the annual rafting trip on the San Juan River, near Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
The 9th, 10th, and 11th graders go camping during the first weeks of school.
The 9th graders join Cottonwood Gulch near Grants to explore the wonders of the lava fields and tubes of El Malpais National Monument, as well as the nearby Zuni Mountains. The 10th and 11th graders head out to Santa Barbara Campground and Agua Piedre Campground, respectively. These are both located in the Carson National Forest. They work in small cook groups with a teacher cooking and cleaning for each other. Activities can include hiking, swimming, games, archery, group challenges, etc.
In January, all upper school students will have the opportunity to join in the annual Wolf Creek Ski Trip near Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
The seniors main event is the five day rafting trip on the Green River in southern Utah. This trip down Desolation Canyon is incredibly beautiful both in scenery and in the opportunity for the seniors to slowly say goodbye to each, with graduation right on the heels of the trip.