By Hyacinth Cookenmaster – Rocky Mountain National Park … Campion students escaped the classrooms, ditched the masks, and discarded the textbooks for painting brushes, compasses, and cameras as they held outdoor school in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

The mission of the day was simple … to have fun while exploring and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation that surrounded them as they broke off into small groups for the first half of the day.

Reflecting on the trip, Ruth, sophomore, commented, “It was a great stress reliever from our daily schoolwork while also being outdoors.”

Showing off their artistic side, pupils relaxed on a hillside while Lindsey Santana, Campion teacher, and librarian, explained how to use watercolors when painting mountain landscapes. The challenge … recreate landscapes from their point of view. “It was really fun; we learned how to create a sunset landscape using only the primary colors,” Toby, freshman, said.

While some were busy showing off their artistic side and dreaming of becoming the next Vincent van Gogh, others decided to get creative with the lens. Walking students around Sprague Lake, Jill Harlow, Campion teacher, and communication director, provided lessons on how to take photos using different depths of field and perspectives.

Sophia McGrew, junior, reflected, “I really enjoyed nature during our walk; we saw a female moose and elk, which made me happy.”

Another activity offered was to identify edible plants and ones that might taste okay at first but can quickly be toxic.

“It was a great experience; we learned how important it is to check with multiple sources, such as books or the internet, before we eat anything in nature. We had a lot of fun while exploring and hiking up the hill,” Elizabeth, senior, expressed.

Gwendolyn, sophomore, summed up the day full of adventure: “I loved the trip in general and had a lot of fun, but boy was I tired when we got back; all I wanted to do was eat and sleep.”

–Hyacinth Cookenmaster, Campion senior; photos supplied