House Parents Describe Their Eagle Rock Student Housing Experiences

At first glance, the job of being a house parent for a group of six teen-aged boys and an equal number of teen-aged girls could be a tall order. And as challenging as it is to properly support a dozen students on a daily and nightly basis, imagine a house full of young adults when it comes to being engaged in their own education and living community.

Three of our six house parents recently wrapped up their first trimester in this critical on-campus role. And, not unexpectedly, our administrators again proved to be really good at selecting the best staff members to serve as house parents. We’re also experts at preparing and supporting those house honchos for what the job entails, but some things — as you’ll read below — can only be learned while performing the job itself.

That being said, no one can describe the house parent experience as well as these fresh adult leaders. We’ve asked the three newbies to reflect on what those experiences meant to them personally. But first, a little background on our on-campus Living Village, which is made up of six houses — each designed to accommodate up to 12 students in two separate sleeping areas. Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 3 Latest Grads Have Big Plans Following Graduation

If you work at Eagle Rock, there’s always a lot to celebrate and be thankful for, especially at this time of the year. In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving on our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo., many of our students, staff, faculty and administrators are making plans for the upcoming Winter Trimester Break (Dec. 18, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019).

But before parting ways until the New Year, there’s one more major year-end celebration on the calendar. This Friday, Dec. 14, the Eagle Rock community will gather or go online to celebrate the high school graduation of three more Eagle Rock School students.

Eagle Rock School Dec 2018 Graduates

In particular, it’s Spencer Lanier, Hailee Williams, and Itxel Nava-Barron’s turn to take to the stage at our Human Performance Center — beginning at 4 p.m. (Mountain Time) — to accept their high school diplomas. For the folks at home, you can follow along online via the livestream that’ll be made available exclusively through the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center page on Facebook.

As you’ll learn by reading the entries below, one of our new graduates says his immediately plans call for enrolling in a community college and completing his college prerequisites before taking classes at a four-year college or university in starting in 2020. Our other two grads say they’re going to grab their scissors and combs and take on cosmetology classes in order to learn hairstyling, with one expressing interest in buying an Continue reading…

House Retreats Are All Fun and Games With a Side Dish of Seriousness

At the beginning of each trimester here at Eagle Rock School, student residents and staff of our half-dozen on-campus houses participate in informal house retreats that last the better part of two solid days. And fun is right there on top of the agenda.

In anticipation of another trimester of hard work and community building, these house retreats place an emphasis on fun, community building, and great food.

It’s also a time for students and staff members to work on relationships, conduct serious conversations about the trimester ahead, build community and continue to develop their house culture. But it’s also the final hurrah before attending classes, and receiving and working on homework assignments.

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There are house meetings to be attended, leaders and intramural captains to be elected and a no-nonsense discussion of the mission statement for each house. All necessary, considering these houses are, essentially, a smaller community within Eagle Rock that encourage and foster camaraderie and team membership.

In other words, what comes around goes around. And when we build a positive community within the houses, those aspects then spread to the Eagle Rock community at large. And not to neglect the fun part of these two-day events, students and staff do cook and share meals together, and reconnect through games, activities and one-on-one discussions.

Specifically, here’s what each of our houses have been up to this Monday and Tuesday… Continue reading…

Latest House Retreats Rekindle the Fire for a New Trimester

Pinon Amazing Race in BoulderIn our ongoing efforts to “engage youth in their own education,” Eagle Rock School goes to great lengths to see that most of that educational engagement is interesting, positive and — in the case of our pre-trimester house retreats — rejuvenating.

Like waking up after an afternoon nap, sometimes it’s difficult to jump to your feet and get back into action. Same goes for returning to campus after a well-deserved trimester break.

House retreats enable our students to reestablish the camaraderie they had before break and reconnect with their fellow house dwellers. It’s two and a half days of “what I did on break,” punctuated by meals, competitions, sightseeing and time to refocus on the trimester immediately facing these students.

Mixed in with all that frivolity and fellowship, there are house meetings where house leaders and intramural captains are elected. And there is serious discussion about topics of importance to each living community, as well as a sober revisiting of the house mission statement.

Recently, four of our six campus houses handed us notes and photos of their house retreat happenings and we’ve related those activities below: Continue reading…

A Day On The Slopes Reinforces Life Lessons

IMG_3838At the beginning of each trimester Eagle Rock students and several staff members participate in house retreats — a pair of days that enables members of each house to reconnect and bond with each other.

This trimester, Juniper, Ponderosa and Aspen houses took to the mountains and went snowboarding at Vail Resort. A number of staff and students had been on the trip in previous years, but for many, this was their first experience on a snowboard. There was plenty of anticipation and excitement as students suited up for their day on the slopes.

Vail Resorts sponsored eagle Rock’s Ride School and SOS Outreach, a nonprofit that uses adventure sports to engage youth, took care of getting the students the professional instruction they required to snowboard at Vail. Students began their day by thinking about discipline — which is among SOS Outreach’s six core values — and what it means to them. With these thoughts in mind, students strapped in and began their day.

The students and staff began by learning how to balance on their boards, with many mastering how to turn and stop. Falling was fairly typical as it is with all new snowboarders, but positive attitudes prevailed and laughter was the general response after nearly each wipeout.

Eventually many were Continue reading…