| Vicki Whisenhunt

NVHS Students Discover their Best Self

NVHS Students Discover Find their Best Self“It was terrible, it was awesome”. Who are you when you are at your center? Who are you when you are your best self? These were the questions we asked the New Vista High School Community Adventure Program (CAP) students before we embarked on our backpacking trip to Taylor Mountain. We all have experiences that test our boundaries, and this trip was shaping up to be one of those.
The forecast called for 60-100% chance of rain all day and night both days of our trip. Mother nature delivered. We began our hike up to the ethereal aspen grove that is a highlight of any trip to Taylor Mountain in glorious sunshine and Colorado blue skies. About 5 minutes into our sit spot, we noticed the grey clouds that were moving in – FAST. We finished the rest of the hike in quickly, stopping 100 feet from the campsite.

NVHS Students Discover Find their Best SelfStudents dropped their packs, and one-by-one we guided students into the lake trust-walk-style with their eyes closed. We sat them in a particular spot and had them open their eyes to reveal the stunning lake ringed by golden aspens and craggy rock formations. As we finished the exercise, the fog began to roll in – an unusual site for a high mountain desert region, and students set up their tents as the rain began to fall.
The rain afforded us moments that we would not have had in alternative weather. The whole group piled into one tent to learn how to tie knots. The cloud filled sky and light rain allowed the colors of our outdoor art installations to really pop.

NVHS Students Discover Find their Best SelfStudents learned the many unexpected things on their trip; the importance of guying out tents to best help keep out the rain; that a tarp burrito inside a tent can get so warm you actually have to remove a layer inside your sleeping bag; that garbage bags work well to keep feet and gear dry. They learned how to cook under a tarp shelter in the pouring rain. They also learned that being your best self is easy in comfortable conditions and that it’s much harder in adversity.

We got back to the classroom and sorted our drenched gear before sitting down to our closing circle. Students answered a new set of questions. “What are you most proud of from the trip?” “After this trip, I have an appreciation for…” There may have been moments of terrible, but as the students shared their answers to these questions, there were also moments of awesome.

Written by CAP Instructor Amy Kopkin Atkins.

See more photos from our trip here!



Categories: CAP, Community Adventure Program, New Vista High School, Program News

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