Doing Nothing on Thanksgiving is Not an Option at Eagle Rock School

One thing you can’t say about Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock School is that there’s nothing to do. This is one of those times of the year when students, staff and instructors are in accord that this mountainside campus of ours is indeed a great place to spend late-November holidays.

And, much like the name of the holiday, there’s plenty of gratitude to go around as our community prepares for literally dozens of events and activities over a four-day period. It’s a time when we all gather together to celebrate how fortunate we are to live in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by forests that a lot of us like to call home.

Thanksgiving Day 'Gathering' at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving Day ‘Gathering’ at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock is about celebrating the importance of having each other and remembering that we are all here to better ourselves. It’s a time to appreciate what we’ve done to improve ourselves and what we’ve done to help others. It’s a celebration of how we have impacted each other’s lives in a positive way and to celebrate those successes.

Whether we’re indoors creating art or standing outside in the cold playing touch football, the idea is to spend time together.

The highlight of the holiday, of course, is today’s Thanksgiving Day dinner at 3pm, skillfully prepared by 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…

This Eagle Rock Mom is Celebrating Mother’s Day With 15 of Her Kids

With my fourth Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, I find myself grateful for the experience of having my own child and family. Every day is both a blessing and a challenge. Cleaning up messes, receiving sticky kisses, disciplining a small child, and cuddling during family movies are all a part of my daily routine.

Frequently, I’m late to events with friends because of “one more kiss,” and all too often I show up at work with a messy up-do and only mascara on my face because that’s all the time I had to get ready after rushing my family out the door.

When our son was just six months old, Philbert Smith, Eagle Rock’s now-retired Director of Students, sat down with Kevin and I to discuss the possibility of becoming the next houseparents for Pinon House. Having no clue of what raising a child would entail, and having no point of reference for the challenges we would face, we nevertheless eagerly accepted the opportunity.

Anastacia Galloway Reed

Imagine yourself with your own six-month-old. They aren’t really crawling yet and they definitely aren’t talking. They have some pretty basic needs — requirements that often occur in the middle of the night — that once again disrupt your sleep schedule.

That’s fine because you can always go to sleep early the next night and catch up, right? Okay, take this scenario and insert 14 teenagers into the equation. Sounds disastrous, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing. The love you give your 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.

Pinon_House_Retreat_1_Jan17

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…