Ms. Emily Beckman has put together another service trip, this time to Colorado Springs, CO. Students on the service trip will be working with organizations to help rebuild the Colorado National Parks that were destroyed by the fires from last summer. The fires destroyed over 30,000 acres of Colorado forest. During the trip students will also get to tour many popular Colorado Springs destinations like Garden of the Gods, United States Air Force Academy, Olympic Training Facility and Seven Falls to just name a few.
Service Trip Information
Saturday, June 7
Today we built Log Erosion Devices at the Flying W Ranch. The logs we installed will be used to prevent erosion by collecting sediments as water flows down the hillside. This prevents the sediment from contaminating the water supply used by many residents. By doing this we learned the importance of teamwork. Through this, we protected the environment and developed new relationships. Our communication skills were strengthened today as well as our willingness to step out of our comfort zones. Today’s work taught us that even the smallest task can make a big difference to others. We will continue to serve others in our own communities with the knowledge we’ve gained in Colorado.
By: Charlotte, Leighton, Francis, Mary, & Archer
Friday, June 6
Today we worked to restore the natural habitat around a creek by planting grass and willow trees. We raked the area around the creek to plant grass, but also to prevent sediment from going into the creek. This is important to prevent erosion and restore the natural habitat after the fire. The forest fire in 2002 was the biggest in Colorado. Our efforts helped to restore the damage that was done. We learned a lot about teamwork, organizational skills, and how to restore the original habitat. As a group, we learned how to work more efficiently as a team and we also strengthened our friendships in smaller working groups. From today’s work we will take away a greater sense of community, a greater understanding of dealing with natural habitats, and a deeper knowledge of how fragile the environment is. The seeds that our group will bring back home are friendships, teamwork, openness, care for the environment, and the importance of service in a community.
In addition to our service work, we ended our last night in Colorado at the movie theater. Students had the choice of watching Neighbors, The Fault in Our Stars, X-Men, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and The Edge of Tomorrow. With a mixture of tears of sadness from The Fault in Our Stars and then tears of laughter in Neighbors, it was a good bonding experience and great finale to the end of our service trip.
Written by: Anya, Antonia, Marian, Sarah, Charlie, Raymond
Thursday, June 5
- Pack our own lunch
- Drive out to forest
- Group climbed in back truck drove to site
- Hard hats, gloves, ear plugs, glasses, long sleeves, long pants
- Picked up tree branches
- Everyone lined up behind the wood chipper
- Placed the branches in wood chipper: spit it out in shavings to spread over the forest floor
- Ate our packed lunch in the woods: saw different types of animal poop
- The Guide tricked us into thinking he ate Elk poop (it was only chocolate covered almonds)
- Moved through the forest with the wood chipper
- Bad weather came in and it started to rain
- We left an hour early and headed home
- Watched “Fantastic Four” on bus
- Played kickball, basketball, and soccer in the gym
- Some went for a run
- Quick pick up at the grocery store
- Played Snake Oil and hung out with friends
- Dinner: Sloppy Joe’s, potato salad, watermelon, chips, and lemonade
- Reflection time: working alone in the forest (ear plugs) gave us time to reflect on distractions in our lives: spending more time with family and friends, limiting time on media, focusing on school work and resisting the urge to procrastinate, staying true to ourselves and sharing our gifts with others
- “You have brains in your head. You have your feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who will decide where to go.” Dr. Seuss
Wednesday, June 4
If we could sum up today’s experiences in one word, it would be teamwork. As our young missionaries journeyed to the Wilson Ranch Pool to restore unforgiving forest terrain recently damaged in wildfires, the hopes were high and the expectations were higher. We were tasked with planting new trees in the desolation of recently destroyed mountainsides, a certainly unique experience for all of us. As we set about our work, we quickly had to adapt to the terrain and learn to work together to maximize our efficiency. It was easy to make mistakes, but through teamwork and dedication we were able to make a difference.
This afternoon, we had the pleasure of visiting the Olympic Training Center. We had the privilege of witnessing the intense training programs of some of the greatest athletes on the planet. It was intriguing to see the athletes’ training areas and some special techniques they use as they prepare for an Olympic Games. A highlight of that trip was being able to see Michael Phelps show off those tremendous pipes of steel and see them flex with each rep.
Written by: Victor D., Gabrielle E., SamP., Isabelle C., Claudia B., Diego
Tuesday, June 3
Today was our first service day of the trip and we were excited to get to work at the Garden of the Gods. We arrived at 8:30 and before getting to work, sang happy birthday to our dearest Charles. The guides showed us how to use the tools and briefed us about things to look out for – namely staying hydrated and avoiding rattlesnakes.
During the day, we worked as a team to accomplish the task at hand. We learned the importance of teamwork when we were hauling rocks and dirt up the mountainside. When we were finished with our work, one of the chaperones, Mr. Pearson, found an inchworm. We dared him to eat it and he took us up on our dare. By the end of the day everyone was tired, but very satisfied with the day’s work.
Written by: Nicholai A., Isabella B., Stylianos D., Hana F., Bekka M., Kira N.
Monday, June 2
We began the day bright and early by packing our lunches, and headed off to Adventure Outfitters to go whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. We were split up into groups of six per raft and made our way down. A few people fell off going through the rapids, but everyone was safe due to our experienced guides.
Next, we made our way to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Unlike the Minnesota Zoo, this zoo was on a mountain. Several students took a lift to the top to experience the beautiful view. There were animals from every continent, including hippos, elephants, and wallabies. Several peacocks were allowed to roam free throughout the zoo. We could also feed the giraffes, which allowed us to get close enough to touch them.
Today was our last day of touring Colorado. Tomorrow we move towards the purpose of our trip, service.
Written by: Lindsay B., Hannah J., Grace L., Joe M., Connor O., and Katie W.
Sunday, June 1
As we boarded the bus and said goodbye to our families yesterday, we were filled with many different emotions. Even though the bus ride was borderline torture, we managed to make it to Colorado with our sanities intact. After arriving at St. Mary’s High School and freshening up, we made our way to the Air Force Naval Academy to attend Mass at the chapel. It was a beautiful service as was the campus. We enjoyed some sight seeing before we made our way to Manitou Springs for the remainder of the afternoon.
The environment of Manitou Springs was unlike any other place we’ve been before. We enjoyed seeing unique people such as the hikers with the cats on their shoulders, the tarot card reader and the numerous amount of tattooed and dread-locked individuals which was rather eye-opening.
Before we knew it we were heading back to the school to enjoy free time and dinner with our peers. Overall, it was a great beginning to our adventure.
Written by: Angela L., Peter G., Lucy D., Madison Z., Andrew J., and Chloe F.