Tenth Grade Travel
Native American Trip
The tenth graders travel to Ute Tribal Park in southwestern Colorado as part of their Native American block. After a ten-mile hike into the canyon, the students experience the contrast between cowboy culture (saddled horses, chuck wagon food and cowboy tents) and Native culture and history, spiritual and universal in essence. At this critical time in their development, tenth graders find hope and inspiration in the Anasazi lands and reconnect to all that lies beyond themselves.
The tenth grade geology trip, led by Deer Hill Expeditions, is a 10-day experience in which lessons take place in areas of geological interest. The students raft the San Juan River, stopping at different sites for hiking and academic instruction. The trip also includes a service project at the Hopi reservation.
Standing outside the tenth grade classroom window, I heard the kids singing the songs we sang on the Native American trip two years ago. I was immediately transported back to the canyon where I had spent five amazing days. I thought of hiking in relative quiet for miles until, led by our Native American guide, we came to a 40-foot ladder going straight up a cliff. I contemplated my choices: climb it and deal with my fear of heights or admit that as a young, outwardly strong young man, I was scared to death. I climbed it! The reward was indescribably awesome. We were in what is called ‘Eagles Nest,’ the home of ancient American tribes hundreds of years ago. There, among the sacred ruins, in a site not open to tourists, our guide sang a Native prayer for us. It echoed off the rock walls of the canyon as the crows answered with their calls. I will never forget that moment – never.
Twelfth grade student