| Ford Church

Backpacking, Hiking, and Exploring with CAP

IMG_5888This spring, the Community Adventure Program (CAP) at New Vista High School had many amazing outdoor experiences! Each adventure built upon the last, as the students grew into competent and excited outdoor enthusiasts.

On most Friday afternoons throughout their few months together, CAP class headed to the nearby trails at the base of the Flat Irons in Boulder. Focuses of the hikes ranged from learning about the effects of the Boulder Flood on the local flora and fauna, the geology of the Rocky Mountains, the ecology of Boulder’s amazing ecotone, minimum impact hiking and camping techniques, and simply enjoying the outdoors. The hikes were among the student’s favorite parts of CAP, offering time to explore, laugh, and re-energize at the end of stressful weeks.

Students also enjoyed two overnight camping trips during CAP; the first at White Ranch Park in Golden, and the second at Taylor Mountain near Allenspark. Both camping sites were located in beautiful and remote settings, requiring the crew to backpack in to the site. For many students, this was their first time packing a backpack and walking with all of their food and equipment on their backs. During the overnights, students learned and fine-tuned outdoor skills such as IMG_5970building fires, cooking with campstoves and fire, navigating on and off trail with maps and compasses, setting up bear hangs, and many others. As a capstone adventure to practice many of their technical and interpersonal skills, the students successfully navigated an off-trail ascent of Taylor Mountain! Their teamwork was rewarded with incredible views from the summit of Taylor Mountain of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and even sights of the flats in Boulder and Larimer Counties. In and around camp, the crew played lots of games such as camouflage and enjoyed quiet reflective experiences during their sit spots. Both hysterical and calming moments by the fire with silly games, singing, and silence will stay in their minds for a long time as highlights of the trips. Let’s hear what some of the students have to say!

“The best part about the trip was getting to know people who you most likely would’ve never talked to. Not only did that make the trip more exciting, it made our CAP class closer and a more pleasant and engaging…One thing I will take with me back to civilization is the awareness I learned while camping. The Earth has this way of showing us all that it has to offer in such out-of-the-blue ways.” – Grace

“Some senses that I feel awaken in the wilderness are mainly hearing. In normal civilization, our sense of hearing is so bombarded constantly that we never really have silence, and therefore it’s a very calming experience when you do encounter it.” – Brewer

“On the hike in, I had a tent, food and water. On the hike out, I had a better sense of myself and the people I spent this trip with.” – Ashley

IMG_5873As CAP wraps up their class over the next few weeks, there are sure to be many more amazing outdoor experiences. Stay tuned for upcoming stories about their Action Project, which addresses the complex issues of planned obsolescence and overconsumption!

Check out more pictures from CAP’s overnight camping trips and other adventures here: https://capatnvhs.shutterfly.com/pictures


Categories: Community Adventure Program, Program News, Updates

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