Amidst the bustling halls of Lakewood High School, 10 brave students stood outside waiting for a school bus dressed in their winter best: winter hats, coats, and snow pants. Their indoor classroom was a thing of the past as they headed out with the Cottonwood Institute for a day trip to Echo Lake on Mt. Evans to practice winter survival techniques.
Thanks to a generous grant from Larry H. Miller Charities and gear donations from the Patagonia Store in Boulder, the students tackled a variety of skills including snowshoeing, snow shelters, winter medical tips, and fire-making techniques. They learned that shoveling was hard work, but their efforts paid off when they realized they had constructed their very own quinzhee snow shelter. The highlight of the day was the surprise medical scenario. The students’ quick-thinking skills were put to the test when their teachers wandered into base camp disheveled and disoriented forcing the students into action. With only a moments hesitation, the students determined the underlying cause and utilized their new skills to keep their teachers warm in a hypo wrap.
After an action-packed day, snowshoes and gear stored away, toes and fingers toasty warm, the students returned to Lakewood High School with serious bragging rights because of their new winter survival skills and knowledge of how to use them.
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