Although the students from Logan School in Denver were eager to go, it was the teachers that were ready to jump out of their skin from the excitement of the upcoming trip. All 24 of us – including 19 rambunctious and highly energized 8 and 9 year olds – loaded into our caravan of vehicles and headed to Earth Knack, where we would spend the next three days learning primitive survival skills, while embracing sustainability, adaptability, and nature.
After fours hours of humming tires, the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range finally greeted us with sunshine reflections off snowy peaks, and the adventure began. Once camp was set, we met Robin, the creator and owner of Earth Knack, our temporary home. She led us on a comprehensive and educational tour while discussing sustainability and recycling. Dinner and marshmallows were our next order of business, and as the stars twinkled silently above us, we settled in for the night.
The sun shone bright the next morning. We ate a hearty breakfast and prepared for a short hike to the Ziggurat. This unique piece of artwork sits atop a hill towering above the sparsely populated valley symbolizing one man’s vision of piece. During the hike, we discovered an abundance of wildlife from birds to rabbits to flowers. Although our stomachs were grumbling for lunch, our laughter and smiles evidenced a successful hike. After a stimulating game of camouflage and bow drill practice, we began building our debris shelter. I have never seen a group of kids dedicated so intensely to the task at hand as these young ones were. In the middle of it all, it started to snow, and their determination did not wane, their smiles did not falter, and their shelter was a work of art on its own accord.
We celebrated our last night together listening to fireside stories, and dining on dessert of birthday cake and marshmallows. It was a bittersweet moment, but as we backed out of the driveway the next morning, all of us knew the skills we learned and the laughter we shared would remain with us as long as the Sangre de Cristos continue to tower above this vast valley.
Check out the slideshow of our adventures, by clicking here.
Written by April Pishna.