For mostly first time campers, the STRIVE Prep – RISE CAP students did great “roughing it” camping in the rain! We started off our camping experience at Cal-Wood Education Center by learning a few essential skills. We worked on how to set up a tent without getting water inside, how to tie a few knots, and some “tarpology”. After lunch, we searched for the warming hut to dry off and get warm for a bit. While some students helped get the stove heated up, the others set up for a few rounds of hangman and Jenga. Once everyone was dried off, we learned how to use a compass and how to shoot a bearing. Intrigued by our new skills, we took our compasses with us on a hike. During the hike we discovered deer scat, elk scat, and other wild scat, while determining the differences between spruce and pine trees. Upon hearing distant thunder rolling in, we decided to turn back. With about an hour until dinner, we found ourselves warming up in the warming hut.
“This is what we’re eating for dinner, Ms?…. AWESOME!” These CAP students were shocked that we had the ingredients to make quesadillas for dinner. Cooking for their friends might have been the best part of camping for these first time campers. After learning how to set up the dish-washing station and cleaning up after dinner, we huddled around the warming hut stove, one last time. This time we told scary ghost stories and played a get-to-know-you game. Soon enough we settled down for an early bedtime… well most of us went to bed early (aka the instructors).
The next morning we awoke to SUN! Finally! Though it only lasted a few hours, we at least had a chance to dry out our tents before packing up camp. After breakfast, we headed to our service project. With our work gloves on and a good night’s rest, we went to work making slash piles and moving firewood. For only six people, we made a lot of progress in two hours. When it was finally time to head home, we faced the hardest part of the trip… working to get the van out of mud! After many tries and ushering the students back out of the van, we made it! Success! We all cheered and sighed with relief. Ending the trip on a high note, we saw a family of deer leaving the site. Seeing the pure joy in these students’ faces really made this rainy trip worthwhile.
Written by CAP Instructor Christina Guevara
See more photos from our trip here!