Blog Post

Fall Overnight EE Trips 2022

December 9, 2022

Our Intermediate (IS) and Advanced School (AS) students have been exploring the outdoors during their EE adventures this fall, including their much anticipated overnight trips.

Logan’s Environmental Education (EE) program is designed to introduce students to a love of nature, establish classroom community bonds, cultivate an understanding of the impacts of human behavior over time on natural resources, and build outdoor skills and resilience.

Below are a few highlights from previous overnight trips.

Group photo of a class with a mountain backdrop.

Jonny and Ellaire’s Class Unit: Around the World Global Perspectives

Jonny & Ellarie’s Class stayed at Keystone Science School for two nights and three days. They had lovely, quintessential Colorado fall weather. The trip concentrated on fire ecology and the relationship between humans and wildfires. A highlight of their experience was the “adaptation auction.” Students designed animals by bidding on different adaptations and then created an organism from the adaptations they won in the auction; student teams had a budget to start with and had to keep track of their budget as they made bids. One of the evenings they had a talent show followed by a dance party which was very memorable and epic!

A student looks through a high powered telescope.

Jeff and LeEllen’s Class Unit: Connections

Jeff & LeEllen’s class visited Keystone Science School for their fall overnight. They learned about forest ecology by looking at how wildfire influences forests and how different elements of forest ecology are connected to each other. The weather was cold, so they had lots of “first of the season” snowy adventures and activities. Students identified different trees in the forest using a dichotomous key - choose your own adventure for tree identification. A highlight of the trip was “astronomy night” when kids got to use KSS’s high-powered telescope through which they were able to view Jupiter and its moons.

A female student explores a display at the RMNP visitor center.

Amy & Leanna’s Class Unit: Healthy Living

As part of their class unit, prior to the trip, kids got to tweak the food menu and have more involvement and ownership in crafting the emphasis on healthy eating for their trip. Students did most of the cooking on the trip - they added more veggies and an overnight oatmeal, which was extremely popular! After settling into their cabin in Grand Lake, the class spent the first day hiking, making observations and working with the park rangers. The second day, the class ventured to Rocky Mountain National Park and went on a spectacular hike. At the top of the famous Trail Ridge Road, students journaled and then shared their reflections about how our National Parks contribute to healthy lifestyles and are a treasured space for people to explore the outdoors.

Group photo of students at the top of Chimney Rock National Monument.

Tony & Megan’s Class Unit: Challenge and Discovery

Tony & Megan’s class camped throughout their fall trip in the Durango area. A big highlight of the trip was rock climbing at X Rock, where they pushed their limits and challenged their comfort zones. After a challenging day of physical exertion, the class went to the hot springs for some rest and relaxation. They visited Canyon of the Ancients and Chimney Rock National Monuments where they explored Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites. They talked with a Bureau of Land Management Ranger to learn more about the Puebloan people and compared the history and celestial and ceremonial significance of the sites. At Chimney Rock, the students also took part in environmental service work with the San Juan Mountain Association. 

Two students prepare a meal; another student smiles at the camera while on a ropes course.

Michelle & Hannah’s Class Unit: Heroes

Michelle & Hannah’s Class started their trip in the Black Hills of North Dakota at Custer State Park. There, they talked about how places are named and the history of place names and heroes. Later, the class tested their stamina on a high ropes adventure challenge to see how they could become their own heroes. A trip to Mount Rushmore National Park proved enlightening as they talked about leadership and why the four individuals were chosen for the site. During a super cold and windy hike, kids experienced the outdoor elements and their variations. Along the way, they visited the Crazy Horse Memorial and spent a lot of time at the visitor’s center learning about Native American culture in the area. On the way back, they went to Wind Cave National Park and met with park rangers. The kids decided that rangers were heroes in the environment by protecting the spaces.

A middle school student smiles brightly with a fish he caught fly-fishing; another student poses with a pony.

Emily & Paige’s Class Unit: Rivers and Roads

Emily & Paige’s Class went to south central Colorado to the Ridgway/Gunnison area and camped throughout the trip. They worked with an educational organization in Silverton and learned about the rivers and how the residual effects of mining in the area have impacted the river over time. They also explored the town of Silverton and went to hot springs in Ouray. From there, they went to the spectacular Black Canyon National Park outside of Gunnison. They learned about how the river carved out that canyon over millions of years and the geological effects of rivers on land over time. A big highlight of the trip was fly fishing with outfitters. Students learned how to cast, the significance of the different flies used as bait and how they relate to the macroinvertebrates in the rivers.

A row of students pet alpacas along a fence; a table of students smile at the camera while at the dinner table.

Kelly & Cynthia’s Class Unit: Food 

Kelly & Cynthia’s Class spent part of their time camping, and part in a hostel. They visited Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico. They hiked to the Ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and learned about the challenges of farming and food sustainability in the high desert climate. They had a spectacular “astronomy night”! While gazing at stars and satellites, students discussed how much they could see with the naked eye. In the Taos area, they visited a goji berry farm and learned how farmers irrigate their land in the high desert. They also learned about water rights and how people in the community get water and how much is allocated. The Taos Pueblo is the oldest continually inhabited pueblo, with active populations for over 1000 years! The class got to sample local cuisine during a guided tour of the Taos Pueblo. They visited an Earthship community (self-contained living spaces) on the other side of the Rio Grande Gorge, where they explored how the homes are built in order to produce food and collect rainwater. Most Earthships have south-facing greenhouses that are integrated into the living spaces and use recycled water for gardening. The class dined out at local iconic restaurants which served delicious New Mexican cuisine. 

Students sit together at a table, journaling in their individual notebooks.

Max & Shaun’s Class Unit: Strategy

Max & Shaun’s Class went to Grand Teton National Park, where they camped throughout the trip. They took a boat across Jenny Lake and hiked up Cascade Canyon for a few miles where they got to see a bull, cow and calf moose, marmots and pikas. Afterwards, the class went for a refreshing swim in String Lake, which is basically a wide, slow-flowing spot in the river. At the National Museum of Wildlife Art, they participated in a program to examine how art can be used to influence public opinion about wildlife and environmental issues. They also met with a National Park Service educator who shared her life's perspective as an indigenous person whose ancestral homeland includes Grand Teton National Park. The class rode the tram up to the top of Jackson Hole Resort and took time for reflective journaling inspired by the incredible views. The big adventure highlight was white water rafting on the Snake River. As a bonus, Logan Alum Libby Idsky (Class of 2012) joined this class trip!