Middle Park juniors float into history
Seventeen students rafted the Green River before school ended for the year. The trip is always one of the most impactful moments of students’ high school tenure.
Outdoing East Grand School District Superintendent
The Junior River Trip is one of the most impactful moments that our students have while in school. The trip itself, in its duration and the activities accomplished by our students, is unique for high schools and the amount of personal growth and learning is immeasurable.
For the past 49 years, Middle Park High School has offered an outdoor educational opportunity to juniors in high school. Seventeen students were accepted to do a rafting river trip for the duration of six days. Over those six days, they made amazing connections with one another while also learning about the various parts of the river. The students tested their own comfort zones while participating in activities such as repelling down a cliff and a solo camping night. Major Powell relates to his own experience: “The river trip taught me about facing my fears and stepping out of my comfort zone in order to fully enjoy everything in life.”
By pushing personal limits within a guided environment students were allowed to create memorable experiences and understand how to persevere through hard circumstances.
Many of these students had many different upbringings and came from all walks of life, but through the Junior River Trip, they disconnected from the outside world and were able to authentically connect with their peers. Brooke Bailey states, “The connections between the people on the river trip formed fast and seemed to last longer than the trip itself.“
One of the students on the trip claims, “The time spent in the wilderness has shown me how there is a place stress free and provides happiness and growth as a person.”
Trips like these are important because they teach the importance of acceptance and empathy as well as pushing students out of their comfort zones by talking to people they would typically not talk to. The ability to create long-lasting, meaningful relationships is a skill that is used heavily in the world after high school as well as in the workforce. This unconventional way of learning created a safe environment for students to expand their personal boundaries and beliefs.
By disconnecting from society, the students were able to connect more deeply with nature. Paddy Aither states, “This trip truly taught me how precious nature is and how important it is to protect it so that things like this can continue on for the future generations.”
By having no contact with the normal infrastructure and norms that we would in daily life, this caused everyone to use their surroundings and become more at one with nature.
“Going on the river trip opened my eyes and helped me appreciate nature more and realize how special the outdoors really are,” Ethan Boeckers said after returning home from the trip.
TJ Tibbetts reminisces on his experience, “Look deep into nature, and then you will comprehend everything better.”
With the world in the environmental crisis that it is in now, it is important to reinforce the environmentally conscious ideology within the minds of students so that students can enjoy the beautiful world around us for generations to come.
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