Jill Harlow – Loveland, Colorado … The entire Campion Academy student body left the classrooms behind to learn from nature at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), September 13. The teachers each led a group of students to study a variety of topics including elk ecology, orienteering, park history, junior ranger, and front range floods, while also exploring the top sites of the park.

One of the groups tested their endurance on a nine-mile round trip hike to Sky Pond. Jack Ramos, student, shared that they found wild raspberries to enjoy on the hike saying, “They tasted so good! I’m glad that I experienced these moments with friends.”

The elk ecology group not only observed bugling elk, but also saw a variety of animals including a bear, bighorn sheep, and marmots. “I learned all about the different animals that live at RMNP and how the park is trying to protect and regulate the elk and other animals,” recalled Sarah Rushhold, junior student.

In addition to the learning components, one of the objectives of the day was to allow all of the students to experience the Rocky Mountains. Eriane Saraiva, a senior student from Brazil, explained, “This trip was my first time in the mountains, and, for me, it was a very fun and different experience. One of the parts I enjoyed most, apart from spending time in nature, was taking a break from studying and school, and I also had the opportunity to talk to people I hadn’t gotten to know before.”

—Jill Harlow is the Campion Academy communication director. Photos supplied.