While preparing the Angevine Middle School CAP class for their winter snowshoeing trip, one of the students said that if they were out in the wild they would feel nervous, like someone was going to sneak up on them. As someone who feels nothing but peace while being alone in the outdoors, this comment fueled my mission to share the outdoors as a source of strength and calm.
But baby steps. Before these students can all feel at one with the outdoors, they need to have positive experiences in the outdoors. And our snowshoeing trip was nothing but fun! We had bluebird skies and enough snow to build an epic quinzee (snow shelter). One of our students recapped our experience with the following:
“In this trip we went up to Caribou Ranch up in Nederland to go snowshoeing. We had two vans and it was about a hour and a half drive up there. We mostly just spent the time talking about who knows what. When we got up there we were all very excited and pretty much half of us weren’t smart enough to go to the bathroom before we left so that took us an extra 15 mins to start hiking. If I were to say that putting on snowshoes and walking in them were easy, I would be lying straight towards your face. The other epiphany that most of us had was that snowshoes don’t actually keep you above the snow, they just help you not sink as much as if you didn’t have snowshoes. Then we started what I would call our about mile and a half hike. Now you would think that it was easy but in snowshoes it is much harder. Then we found some pretty good snow to start making our quinzee. That took us a lot of time and we were all way too tired to keep building the thing so we just kinda made a hole and called it good. But in between that we ate our food and then we made the trip back to somehow catch the bus. I don’t know how we did it but we did.”
Another one of our students says, “Being outdoors made me feel great. I felt happy the whole time, even when I was freezing. I felt more alive than I have in a while. I already love being outside, but being with friends made it so much better. I was so happy. I laughed so much and had a ton of fun.”
Written by Angevine Middle School CAP Instructor Erin Angel, with the help of her students!
See more photos from the trip here!
CAP at Centaurus High School is made possible in part by a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) through the Nature Kids/Jovenes de la Naturaleza program. Click here to learn more!