Fire is both destructive and a source of regeneration. The students of STRIVE Prep – Federal took this lesson of the duality of fire to everything they accomplished over the two weeks of their Explore Outside program. They broke down barriers and generated new and incredible skills! The students came together to overcome challenges, spend a night in the wilderness, and play oh so many games.
Over the course of the two weeks these driven students, alongside their trusty instructors, mastered the “Ten Essentials” of outdoor exploration, wowed the crowds with their amazing sense of style during their outdoor fashion shows, and tapped into their creative side while writing poems, building eco-sculptures, and painting with natural materials. The students built fires and supported each other in learning how to respect this demanding element.
These students were determined to uncover the wildness in the outdoor spaces that are found right here in our urban setting, Ruby Hill Park. Despite common perception of the impossible, they went out on an animal tracking endeavor under the backdrop of the Denver city skyline. Overcoming the heat, this crew also gave back to their community by cleaning up trash at the park we called camp. Team Lil Smurfs and Team Number Ones even directed an “alien robot” through an obstacle course using their newfound orienteering skills and learned foundational knots while building wilderness shelters.
During their overnight trip, STRIVE Prep – Federal students used amazing strength to hike to the campsites of White Ranch Park. Students set up camp and found a beautiful lookout point while reflecting on the importance of the past, present, and future of natural spaces. They stargazed and slept peacefully under the shooting-star-filled sky.
Of all the 29 different games played during their time together, Camouflage was by far the game that each of these students came to love and master! So next time you are exploring outside, be sure to look around and make sure one of these skilled explorers isn’t hiding right in front of you!
Written by Cottonwood Institute Instructor Christina DeJoseph