Pulling up to Buckingham Park alongside the hundreds of bicycles making their way up Lefthand Canyon just outside of Boulder served as a perfect introduction to a beautiful weekend in the mountains. Six CAP students from Centaurus High School took the plunge by setting out for Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown for a weekend of hiking, practicing Leave No Trace, and service learning on Cal-Wood’s property.
After stopping in Lefthand Canyon to check out the creek, the group arrived at Cal-Wood and began by practicing camp set-up, skills these CAP students have been learning in the classroom all semester. The students set up their tents swiftly and the group filled up on lunch before heading out to Mica Mine. The four-mile hike stretched this group, but each student overcame it with persistence. Even students who had never hiked before approached this hike with open-mindedness and determination.
Saturday night brought the opportunity to play as a group, making piezoelectric reactions with quartz rocks and enjoying the darkness of the woods without the aid of flashlights. Unfortunately, the stars did not make an appearance until late into the night, but those who made late-night bathroom breaks had the opportunity to enjoy the sky’s display.
The trip wrapped with a service project doing fire mitigation at one of Cal-Wood’s other campsites. As they gathered wood and stacked giant slash piles, students got a glimpse into wildland conservation and some of Colorado’s unique concerns with wildfires. The Centaurus students’ takeaways from this activity were encouraging, as they shared passions for conservation and climate change prevention. These students are young catalysts for big change, and this trip served as one of the stepping stones for them to become more acquainted with nature. Some of them will have the opportunity to backpack later this semester and continue to establish their connections to nature. This CAP class, for students who choose to camp or just participate in the classroom, will be very influential on these students and their views of nature.
Written by Cottonwood Institute Instructor Katherine Beaudry
See more photos from the trip here! (and there are some real gems!)
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!