In late October, students from STRIVE Preparatory Schools’ Excel campus went backpacking as part of their Community Adventure Program (CAP) class with Cottonwood Institute. CAP at STRIVE is a semester-long class, which meets two days each week for 15 weeks. The first few weeks of class in August and September focused on teambuilding, nature awareness, and preparations for their backpacking trip. In October, students will start building a greater understanding of the environmental issues that affect Denver and the Front Range. During the last half of their semester in November and December, the students will select a local environmental issue to address as a class through an Action Project. As the class becomes more and more student-directed, leadership, problem solving, and critical thinking will become essential skills as they enact change in their community.
Below are a few excerpts from the students written reflections of their backpacking trip:
“We went to White Ranch Park, and it was really challenging to go camping and be away from home. During the trip, we could talk to our friends and other people in the class that don’t usually talk. People had lots of fun and they talked to different people. All my classmates really enjoyed this camping trip because we all got along and got to know each other better. We learned that when you are camping with other people it’s important to build trust with those other people.”
“The hardest part of the trip was the 1- mile hike into the campsite. The most important thing is to listen to your administrator [leader] so your backpack will not feel heavy. This is important because if you don’t your back will hurt a lot.”
“When we do our sit spots, it helps us think about how this environment is different from the one we live in. We learned that we can be far away from our phones and be more in nature.”
“We played camouflage during the day. This game helped us bond because we tried to keep those hiding a secret. At night, we all stayed up around the fire eating s’mores and coming up with riddles.”
“It helps me think clear and it opened my mind.” – Orlando
“I thought it was fun, its a really amazing experience. It makes you realize that there are greater things beyond your backyard.” – Aron
Stay tuned for updates from their next backpacking trip and Action Project progress over the next few weeks!
Many thanks to our partners, instructors, donors, and foundation supporters including PeyBack Foundation, CoBiz Cares Foundation, and Salah Foundation for making CAP at STRIVE possible!
View and download pictures of STRIVE Preparatory Schools many adventures with Cottonwood Institute at the Shutterfly Picture Share Site.
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