A Grand Trip to the Tetons

In August, Episcopal Collegiate ninth graders journeyed on an Upper School pre-orientation trip to one of the most beautiful landscapes in America – the Grand Teton Mountains. The students spent four nights and three days at the Teton Science School in Jackson, Wyoming. Students documented their adventure, which included hiking, journaling, water-quality testing, and wildlife observation, on their blog: http://www.tetonscience.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2015-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2016-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=40 For a closer look, we asked Episcopal Collegiate School Freshman Boyd Bethel (shown below journaling on the trip) to tell us more. Thanks, Boyd! Read on . . .

image8-796571Going on the trip to the Grand Tetons was really a fun and engaging experience for my classmates and me. After lengthy airport layovers and a light dinner, the tired (and hungry) crew of students finally arrived in Jackson, Wyoming to be bused over to the Teton Science Schools.

As we scrambled to get in as much iPhone time as possible before our devices were confiscated, bright screens lit up and heart-breaking goodbyes were said to social media.

Without our phones to distract us, we listened for our dorm and room assignments. The girls received rooms with showers, while the boys settled for a clear downgrade: community showers. After we had settled in before bedtime the first night, we finally collapsed, exhausted from the day.

Morning came early, and Coach Marsh and Coach Friedel didn’t hesitate to force the guys out of bed, which I wasn’t crazy about. When breakfast ended, we broke into our designated animal groups: Pronghorn, Otters, Wolverines, and Moose. We then went on hikes and began our journey to learn more about science. Before the hike, however, we were told that if we had to “chase any bears or coyotes,” we were allowed to do so. Initially confused, I wondered what this meant, only to be shocked when I heard it was simply a euphemism for using the restroom. Anyway, with this strange, useless bit of knowledge, I continued on the hike with my fellow Pronghorns, enjoying the Rocky Mountains and learning science.

This was only the beginning, as we would continue this process of waking up way too early, visiting and hiking through scenic parks like Yellowstone, and playing pick-up basketball during free time (with courtside commentary from Madison Marsh and Madison Dixon).

IMG_2152The Tetons were a great place for my class to bond, especially with the science school’s emphasis on leadership. This has really helped to instill confidence in every one of us incoming ninth graders to be the best person possible, both in and out of class. It has also helped encourage class cohesiveness as we begin our Upper School journey.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed every aspect of this trip (save the stomach cramps from eating Panda Express; thanks, Martin) and appreciated the opportunity to learn and make lasting friendships. I can already tell it’s going to be a great year with this group. Go Wildcats!

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