Snug as a bug, students packed in among backpacks and gear, eager to see what awaited them on their new adventure. This last weekend the Community Adventure Program (CAP) of New Vista High School headed to beautiful Cal-wood Education Center near Jamestown, CO. They were met with snowy hilltops and sunshine bright enough to create lots of rosy sun-kissed cheeks. Students of all experience levels excitedly put on their backpacks and trekked with ease to our campsite. The days were full of hiking to spectacular views, playfully tossing snowballs at one another, and living in the moment while enjoying a restful sit spot or two among the trees. In fact, this was reportedly one of the students’ fondest memories from the trip, taking the time to be present and relax in nature which they rarely get to do. One student stated,
“Life has been a whirlwind of different and crazy ridiculous situations, so getting away from everything was really nice. I remembered what it was to truly have peace within my mind. During the first sit spot, I discovered this space between consciousness and unconsciousness where I felt peace and silence, which was absolutely fantastic.”
Another memory and highlight of the trip occurred when two students successfully busted an ember! This is not only a difficult feat but it was their first time bow-drilling. Bow-drilling is an ancient method used to create fire with only natural materials. This was a remarkable triumph and even in their success they were more than eager to jump back on their set and try to do it again!
Once sparks had burst into flame, students gathered around the warmth of the fire and enjoyed each others company, sharing stories and laughs, and of course, some deliciously scrumptious s’mores! With happy bellies and tired eyes, students gladly crawled into their sleeping bags for the night.
The trip would not have been complete without giving a little love back to Cal-wood Education Center who so graciously let Cottonwood Institute use its campsite this weekend. We put our cleaning skills to the test, dusting the logs, furniture, and decor of the main lodge that’s used by hundreds of campers each year. This service-learning activity and the trip in general was a job well done and followed by a pat on the back! Students left Cal-wood in high spirits and tired but rejuvenated by the power of the outdoors, excited for their next journey to Taylor Mountain in a few weeks…
Written by: CI Program Coordinator, Taryn Longberry
Quote from: Lee Summers, CAP Student