A day outing closer to home

The first outdoor education trip of the Aspen Country Day School journey is a gentle introduction to the outdoor program. A day trip into the mountains near Independence Pass includes a hike up to a high-country lake for a picnic lunch, playtime by a stream and in a real tent, and even s’mores around the campfire.

On their first Outdoor Education trip in Kindergarten, children receive and make their first entries in the outdoor ed journals that they will use on each expedition throughout the grades at Aspen Country Day School.

Throughout the day, students discuss the school’s core values of character, respect, responsibility, community, and the concept of expedition behavior. Children learn to play safely in the outdoors, experience the importance of teamwork, learn how to dress comfortably and appropriately given the environment, and discover local plants and animals through stories, exploration, and games.

Sample schedule

8:30 am
Meet at the bus dressed and ready to hike. Photo op for parents!

9 am
Depart for trailhead, visit Independence ghost town, talk about ACDS core values, obstacle course & safety discussion, followed by snack.

11:00 am
Hike, followed by lunch

Afternoon
Exploring, collecting firewood, afternoon snack, organized games, drawing in journal (each student will receive their Outdoor Ed journal, which is kept at school and used on each trip, then presented to Eighth Grade graduates at the end of their ACDS journey).

Late afternoon
Early dinner (provided), followed by a campfire, s’mores, and storytime, then return to campus to meet parents

Packing list

Come dressed to hike and bring a comfortable daypack with:

Hat with visor
Sunglasses
Sunscreen
Lots of snacks
Lunch (non-perishable, no candy, no soda)
1 water bottle (full)
Warm coat
Warm hat
Long sleeve shirt to put on top
Long pants
Rain jacket
Face mask
Small tube of hand sanitizer

no electronics, please, no candy

Any questions, please contact outdoored@aspencountryday.net

Complete instructions and staffing lists arrive via ParentSquare shortly before each trip. At least one certified Wilderness First Responder accompanies every expedition. NOLS Risk Services of the National Outdoor Leadership School has recently completed a comprehensive analysis of policies and procedures for the Outdoor Education program at Aspen Country Day School. This program operates under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service, White River National Forest.