Gobble! Gobble! “I saw a turkey!” That was all it took. If there were any reservations about hiking earlier in the day, those dissipated as soon as the girls eyed the turkey off in the distance.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it was only fitting to find wild turkeys on our first outing with our newest partner, Casa de la Esperanza in Longmont, Colorado. Casa de la Esperanza is a residential community owned and operated by the Boulder County Housing Authority, dedicated to helping agricultural workers. Their learning center provides educational and recreational services to Casa residents, including an onsite after-school program and academic center. Cottonwood Institute has teamed up with them to offer a girls empowerment course and plans are in progress to offer a boys program as well.
On an unusually warm fall day in early November, the girls, ranging in age from 8 to 14, headed to Heil Valley Ranch just outside of Boulder for a day hike and an introduction to survival skills. While the turkeys and their tracks were the highlight of the trip, the girls also sipped on some pine needle tea, practiced fire skills, enjoyed a yummy lunch, and even managed to find time for a hike.
At the end of the day, nobody wanted to leave. One of the girls was especially excited to stay, “I wanna go home, I mean right here in the woods, I wanna live here!” And they all followed that thought with, “We wanna go camping!” Here’s to more adventures with the girls from Casa de la Esperanza. Who knows? Maybe a camping trip or two could be in their future!