RMCNews – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Parents waved and cameras flashed as 26 donut-stuffed students and a handful of teachers and volunteers headed out, vehicles overloaded with tents, sleeping bags, and food, destined for Moab, Utah to camp under the stars, raft, and appreciate God’s nature on the annual eighth-grade class trip.

The expedition started out uneventfully, with the long drive to Moab where they would set up camp. Spirits were high until it came time to set up the three 12-man tents. Unfortunately, the wind deflated the hopes of an easy setup, but the class was determined to get the job done. The wind, though, was not finished and proved too much to handle, resulting in the tents being torn over the next few days, and causing the need to leave the campsite a day early to stay at a hotel.

Before leaving, students found time to hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery found only in Moab. Rafting down the river was a first for many and while the rafting was mostly uneventful, an unexpected meet-up with a water rapid caused teacher Christina Hernández and the two students riding in her raft to fall overboard. The only resulting injury was to Hernández’s backpack.

By then, the class was done battling high winds, flying tents, bathing in freezing cold water, and having their mouths filled with dust. The vote was made to turn their torn-tent homes into cozy rooms and warm showers at a local hotel.

Logen, an eighth-grader, summed up his feelings in a text to his mom by saying, “Greatest shower ever.”

The next day, their continuing adventure found them hiking and journeying to Glenwood Springs, where the students spent the night and woke up to enjoy a morning swim in the hot springs before returning home.

Reflecting on the adventure, Lindsey, eighth-grader said, “My favorite part about the trip was the fact that we were in the water most of the time. All of us would play around and splash each other. I loved how we all worked together to put up the tents for the first two nights and how we all couldn’t wait for the hotel beds.”

She continued, “We all bonded and appreciated all the fun that we had. This trip is definitely a big memory that’s going to be with us forever.”

Andrew Carpenter, MHA principal, commented on the adventure. “It was a good time had by all. We are grateful for the time together, laughing and appreciating the break from school to explore Moab. A shoutout to Mrs. Hernández and Pastor Jamey Houghton for working so hard to make this trip special for the kids.”

–RMCNews; photo supplied

This article was adapted from a social media post on Mile High Academy’s Facebook page.