Recently, the two Denver Green School Community Adventure Program (CAP) classes went on an overnight camping trip at Cheley Outpost Camp near Allenspark, CO. Having the opportunity to go on a camping trip is not common in most schools. Some of us had gone camping before, but this trip was different than any other. Overall, Cottonwood Institute provided us with skills and experiences that we will never forget.
Our days were filled with activities like going on a hike, learning to make fire from flint and steel, cooking, purifying water, building shelters, and playing Gaga Ball! We hiked up a mile or two to see a beautiful view of Long’s Peak. We loved the view and were lucky to see the aspens as they started to change for fall. We found a strange caterpillar that stood in an odd but interesting position and had eyes on its body. We learned that it tries to scare off predators. We also saw the Big Dipper, which was beautiful and surrounded by lots of stars.
We also had the experience of sleeping outside in tents, which many of us had never done before. Yes, it was freezing cold, but that added to the experience – it definitely made for a good story when we got back! We had to wear layers and layers, but the outdoors does not always have to be uncomfortable in those temperatures. Sitting around the fire at its peak was so comfortable; it was even more enjoyable knowing that it was a completely natural source of heat and that we were still technically toughing it in the outdoors.
At night, we heard some animals walking around. Our senses were awakened at night; back in the city we are not used to seeing and smelling nature. By being away from the comfort of civilization and getting away from phones, we really tested ourselves as human beings. It made us feel more connected to the world we live in. We left this trip knowing without a doubt that despite the fact that we are indoors the majority of the time, we still have a place in nature. The CAP camping trip was a great experience for anyone who loves outdoor activities or survival skills. We can’t wait for the next trip!
Written by: DGS CAP Students
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