Eagle Rock’s Wilderness Documentary Film ‘All Who Dare’ Debuts Sept 28 in Estes Park

Each year just like clockwork, Colorado’s blue skies offer its citizens a front-row view of the migration of wild geese — those long-necked waterfowl heading south in pursuit of sufficient grains, sunshine and open water to wait out the winter. Also like clockwork, each trimester at Eagle Rock School finds its incoming cohort departing on a 24-day orientation program to a remote wilderness area, each location placing them in an unfamiliar landscape with other new students who must rely on each other to complete two dozen adventurous and often emotion-filled days on the trail.

It’s a rite of passage for these new students, who have just arrived at our school that features an unconventional approach to education — a system that for decades has provided hope for young people striving to turn their lives around by engaging themselves in their own education.

A new hour-long documentary film called “All Who Dare” records the incredible experience that recently took place within the Lost Creek Wilderness area of Colorado. The documentary “stars” include nine incoming Eagle Rock students, accompanied by our school’s accomplished wilderness instructors.

AWD_RGB_IG1

Supported by the American Honda Motor Co., the film premiers at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Stanley Hotel, 333 E. Wonderview Ave., in Estes Park. And while tickets are free, they must be reserved in advance (by Sept. 26) by visiting http://allwhodare.eventbrite.com.

Additional screenings of the documentary will be held around the country, and those interested should check back for updates regarding “All Who Dare” regional screenings by visiting www.AllWhoDare.com

The nine students featured in the film all arrived at Eagle Rock’s mountainside campus on May 14, 2016, as part of the incoming group of students known as ER 69 (for Eagle Rock’s 69th incoming class since our founding in the early-90s).

As the film begins, these teens look into the camera and tell the interviewer about their battles with Continue reading…

From Farm to Table to Deviance & Social Control — Eagle Rock School’s Diverse Class Offerings: Part Deux

Here at Eagle Rock School, we have always added new meaning to the term unique class offerings, and in fact, we’re fairly well known nationwide for the progressiveness of our classroom topics.

For example, not many high schools offer a class in on-the-job training to be a park ranger. In fact, some of our students will even be on the payroll of the Rocky Mountain National Park during the upcoming summer break as a direct result of taking this class.

Eagle Rock School Learning Resource Center

Below, we present the second of a pair of blog posts describing the unique classes offered during this, the second half of ER 69 (the 69th trimester since our founding in the fall of 1993):

Farm To Table: In this class, Eagle Rock School students are studying the methods and effects of different food production systems around the world. By planting, harvesting and tending the Eagle Rock garden, our “farmers” are growing and producing food for our own school cafeteria. A primary outcome of this class is to transform the Continue reading…

Recapping Our Latest Wilderness Presentations of Learning

Eagle Rock’s 66th trimester (ER 66) brought us 10 fresh-off-the-bus students and a return to the wilderness for our New Student Wilderness Orientation Course. The program remains among the staples of the Eagle Rock School student experience and, in fact, we have been conducting these courses since the school’s founding in the early-1990s.

Three times a year, we gear up and head out to the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, or the Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado for a 24-day backpacking course. The trips also include rock climbing, rappelling and a three-day solo experience.

This orientation program places students in unique situations, during which they have the opportunity to gain valuable learning experiences. This learning is made possible by placing students in a new, unfamiliar setting (wilderness) where they must rely on themselves and each other to succeed, and where the usual distractions of adolescent life — smartphones, TV, fast food, drugs and alcohol, cars, malls, cosmetics and hair products — are absent.

Eagle Rock School Wilderness Orientation

Underlying this novel setting and providing the basis for change is a foundation of trust and the student’s perception of the wilderness as a setting riddled with danger and risk. Overcoming the unique problems that a wilderness trip typically presents requires a cooperative effort among all group members.

Putting together the “wilderness puzzle” of problems leads to feelings of accomplishment, enhanced self awareness and self control, as well as a feeling of personal responsibility for self, others and the natural environment. In the end, the skills that students develop on the course will help them successfully contribute to the Eagle Rock community and ultimately to society as a whole.

Courses are 24 days in length due to the fact that it usually takes an individual about three to four weeks to develop a habit or change a behavior. We think 21 days is the minimum amount of time we can spend in the field to effect positive changes. Most students don’t become aware of, or begin working on, changing behaviors until five to eight days into the course, so the task for us is to have students continue the work they started on the wilderness trip back on campus.

While on the wilderness course, students are working on skills related to Eagle Rock’s mission and philosophy (8+5=10) in the following categories:  Continue reading…