Summer Break 2017 at Eagle Rock School

To paraphrase the American nonfiction writer Charles Bowden, summertime at Eagle Rock offers the best of what might be.

For new students who arrived in early-June, it’s the beginning of a new high school experience and the wilderness orientation trip that accompanies it. For our Public Allies fellows, it’s the end of an advanced year-long service and leadership development experience. And of course, summer signals the graduation of another group of Eagle Rock School students.

(Image ©2017 Joven Nichols)

(Image ©2017 Joven Nichols)

The summer months on our mountainside campus never fail to impress upon us some of the values we hold so dear — namely, that we choose to focus on continuous improvement and that we are a small organization with an outsized impact.

Along those lines, summer break at Eagle Rock School offers time for some staff, instructors, and administrators to regroup by focusing on Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School Graduates ‘Lucky 7’ This Friday — Onstage and Online

Working on a trimester system, ours is an alternative and non-traditional school that works hard to recognizes the accomplishments of graduating students who have gone through all the requirements needed to earn their high school diplomas.

As our current trimester draws to a close, we are proud to announce that seven students have proved to the Eagle Rock community that they deserve to be up on our Human Performance Center stage — in front of their peers, families, instructors and staff — in order to receive their high school diplomas.

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Marking the 72nd trimester since our founding back in the early 1990s, our latest trimester graduation ceremony begins at 4 p.m. Mountain Time this Friday and will be broadcast live on Facebook. If you want to watch this momentous event, visit the following Facebook Page starting at around 3:55pm MT Friday — https://www.facebook.com/EagleRockSchool — and look for the post containing the live video.

Below is a short biography about each of the seven graduates, along with info on what they did while at Eagle Rock, their short and long-term goals, along with advice for current and incoming Eagle Rock School students.

Courtney Coleman (arrived at Eagle Rock in May of 2015) — Courtney hails from Harlem, N.Y., and is a proud member of the Ponderosa House. She has been one of the leaders on campus these past few trimesters as she taken on lead positions in several campus groups and organizations.

Some of  her involvements included being a member of Mag 7 (a campus group featuring Eagle Rock’s seven most veteran students that focuses on various leadership roles and opportunities); helping lead our Continue reading…

Princeton Intern Gaining an Education on Education at Eagle Rock School

Editor’s Note: Karina Aguilar Guerrero, who was born in Mexicali, Mexico, and raised in Southern California, is a Princeton University junior who is interning with us for the summer as part of Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS). This program, built on the notion that community service is essential to the welfare of society, has seen more than 800 Princeton Univ. undergraduates participate since its inception. With nearly a dozen or so of them having interned at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center since our founding in the early 1990s, we’re well aware of the impact this unique civic services experience has on the university’s future alumni. Below, Karina, who currently studies Public Policy and Education, tells us about her experiences at Eagle Rock to date.

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By Karina Aguilar Guerrero

Personally, education has always been one of my greatest passions. Growing up, I was always told that education was the great equalizer — a way out of poverty. However, last semester, I took a class on education reform and realized that there’s another side to that story.

There are many factors that affect what happens in the classroom, including life at home, economic situations, learning styles, a support system, school funding, types of teachers and teaching styles — the list goes on. I realized that in order for students to be successful, we have to talk about what happens in the classroom and what takes place outside the classroom.

Karina Aguilar Guerrero

Princeton Univ. undergrad Karina Aguilar Guerrero (3rd from left) with Eagle Rock School students from Pinon House.

When I heard about Eagle Rock’s mission and structure, I was immediately drawn to it. I thought it was incredible that Eagle Rock didn’t worry about Continue reading…

What it’s Like to Intern at Rocky Mountain National Park — 3 Eagle Rock School Students Tell All

A trio of Eagle Rock School students who are currently enrolled in this trimester’s Rocky Mountain National Park internship class were asked by their instructor to write down some thoughts on their unique experiences within the park’s 415 square miles of unmatched natural beauty.

Human Performance & Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist Jon Anderson asked the students to describe their service learning projects and what they’ve acquired from the experience thus far. And suffice to say, the park system, which offers internships in a number of divisions including trail maintenance, recycling, fire fuels reduction, and visitor education, just to name a few, has been very supportive of our educational objectives and goals.

Below is brief info of each student, along with each student’s thoughts on their internship:

SOREN ARVIDSON
Hometown: Springfield, Mass.
Eagle Rock School start date: May 8, 2015 (ER 66)
Projected graduation date: Dec. 15, 2017 (ER 73)

I am involved in the Forestry Division within the park. We go out and treat or cut trees that are affected by the pine beetles in the park. Rocky Mountain National Park’s mission is to protect and preserve the land for the wildlife and public use. The idea is to have a high-quality experience with a low-environmental impact from humans.

Eagle Rock School student Soren Arvidson and co-workers at Rocky Mountain National Park

Eagle Rock School student Soren Arvidson (far left) and co-workers at Rocky Mountain National Park

I really love protecting the wildlife because I feel the National Parks are strong at protecting wildlife and ecosystems — especially because there are Continue reading…

Meet the Student: Brett Thomas Shares his Take on Service & Service-Learning

Editor’s Note: Brett Thomas isn’t scheduled to graduate from Eagle Rock School for a few trimesters, but he already says with authority that his post-Eagle Rock plans include studying criminal justice prior to a career in law enforcement.

Brett_Thomas_Eagle_Rock_SchoolBrett, who was raised in Boulder, Colo., credits the community service experience he has garnered thus far here at Eagle Rock as having heightened his interest in helping others as a peace officer. As you’ll see below, our focus on service learning — education that integrates community service along with facilitated instruction — not only enriches the learning path but also teaches civic responsibility and results in a stronger community.

We asked Brett to discuss the influence Eagle Rock’s service learning programs have had on his education thus far, as well as to tell us more about his future plans.

Here’s what he had to say:

Eagle Rock: Why would you want to perform service for others?

Brett Thomas: In the past, I used to think service was incredibly pointless and a waste of time for students at Eagle Rock. But the more I actually involved myself within the community, the more I felt satisfied — I actually felt better about myself.

Knowing others find happiness as a result of the labors I’ve accomplished helps me realize what service is. It’s not about the journey — because, to be honest, that can be incredibly boring at times. But in the end, you see other’s enjoyment and fulfillment and you think, “Whoa, I actually accomplished all of this through my work. I wasn’t forced into this, I actually enjoyed it.”

This mindset comes in part from the effects of dopamine. But instead of it being gathered through something unhealthy — such as gambling, drinking or drugs — it’s gathered and dispersed through the more positive aspects of service. Many people my age use drugs to feel better, and they often suffer from the consequences.

And while I haven’t taken drugs, I know what triggers people to continuously abuse them. One way to combat substance abuse is through Continue reading…