Scaling Waterfalls and Whittling Wood: How 13 Centaurus High School Adventurers Explored the Great Outdoors! Written by CI Field Instructor Kira Taggart.
We had a small but mighty group of 13 Centaurus High School students on our most recent trip to Cheley Outpost. On our way to the campsite, we stopped along the river where we finally found a beautiful waterfall with many fun rocks to climb on. Although the students were disappointed they were not allowed to swim in the icy cold mountain river, they had lots of fun climbing around, exploring the beautiful sights of the waterfall, and enjoying a yummy brunch of Santiago’s breakfast burritos.
Centaurus students were experts at setting up tents because their CAP instructor, Ms. Angel, had run a tent setup relay race in class just days before. After very little time, the tents were ready to go, and students were ready for the next activity. Some students chose to learn how to whittle, while others chose to learn fire-building. Of those who whittled, some made sticks to use for roasting marshmallows, while some decided to take on the challenge of carving a spoon. In no time at all, some students had carved absolutely beautiful spoons! It was so impressive to see, and some even used their newly carved spoons to eat dinner! For those who chose fire building, Ms. Angel taught how to use bow drills, which is a challenging but rewarding way to start a fire using friction. Although no students actually succeeded in creating fire with the bow drills, many of the students were able to produce smoke, which is no small feat.
For dinner, we ate walking tacos. Walking tacos are a meal where you put all of your taco toppings into a bag of Doritos and eat them straight out of the bag. It was delicious. Some of us were still hungry, however, so we cooked quesadillas over the fire to supplement. As it got dark (which is so early now, just 6:30!) we gathered around the campfire to sing silly songs, tell goofy stories, and eat s’mores. On our night hike, we got super lucky with a clear sky to see the stars, and some even saw a shooting star. Students also learned about triboluminescence on the night hike, a type of light that is produced by friction (when things are scratched, pulled apart, or broken). You can see it in the dark when you bite into a wintergreen Lifesaver! The students were exhausted after a long day of activity, and finally, it was time for bed.
We had a slow start to the morning and warmed up with lots of hot chocolate. After breakfast, we had to move fast to get going on our hike if we wanted to have time for the whole thing! We quickly packed up camp and got going. It was another beautiful day with completely clear skies. When we got to the point of the hike where it was time to play Camouflage, some students were so committed, even taking off their shoes to be able to sneak up on Ms. Angel silently! Finally, we made our way up to the top of the hike for a beautiful lookout and a lunch of pita pizzas. As we were reflecting on our trip and giving our appreciation for everyone who came, we realized we were out of time and had to make a mad dash back to the vans if we wanted to get back to school on time! The students were exhausted, so the car ride back was sleepy and quiet.