Eagle Rock Students Are Halfway through Another Educational Explore Week

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Regular classes have been set aside for the week as Eagle Rock students turn their attention to physical and mental explorations that range from touring Labyrinth Canyon via canoe, to a tour of nearly a dozen colleges and universities in Southern California for those seeking a higher education when they graduate from Eagle Rock School.

It’s all part of Explore Week, with unique course offerings that fall well outside the realm of formal education and more into the category of leaping feet first in to real-life experiences. Students are currently halfway through this — one of three Explore Weeks held each year— and below is a listing and brief description of the six course offerings in which they are participating:

25th Anniversary Prep Crew: For this course, 10 students have volunteered to stay on campus to help us produce this weekend’s 25th anniversary celebration of Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center’s founding back in the early 1990s. (Learn more about this weekend’s celebrations by visiting our 25th Anniversary section of our website.)


Several of these students are learning about event management and organization, while others are getting an education in property maintenance and management. In addition to picking up a fistful of service hours, these students will play a vital role in making sure that everything is in place for a successful anniversary celebration this coming weekend.

There are also fun evening activities underway throughout the week, giving students the chance to unwind after days of hard work. Events include bowling, swimming and participation in sports at the Estes Park Recreation Center, as well as sharing s’mores on our Esplanade and ice cream in town.

The Eagle Rock staffer working with these students is Sandy Rivera, our Human Resources and Administration Manager and a Juniper House Parent.

Green River Canoeing Trip: This time around, canoe enthusiasts are exploring Labyrinth Canyon in southeast Utah in Canyonlands National Park, which features both the Colorado and Green rivers — both of which cut deep and impressive canyons through the layered sandstone of the area.

Labyrinth Canyon Rainbow

The seven outdoor enthusiasts who signed up for this Explore Week course are avoiding the desert heat above the canyons, taking full advantage of the cool, green and shady canyon bottoms. They are learning about the natural and cultural history of the area — including geology, plants and animals, and the history of the Anasazi people, various outlaws of the area, and more recent human exploration.

Leading this canoeing adventure are Eliza Kate Wicks-Arshack, Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist; Nick Magle-Haberek, Lodgepole Houseparent; and Faith Kroma, Eagle Rock School graduate.

Mission Wolf Service Trip: Six of our students are spending the entire week outside, camping and providing service work to wildlife habitats that include wolves, horses and canines in Westcliffe, Colorado. They are getting a first-hand education in the habits of wolves, ecology and sustainability. In addition, these six students are earning service hours while mingling, feeding and learning about these unique creatures.

(Image courtesy of Mission Wolf & Scott-Barrington)
(Image courtesy of Mission Wolf & Scott Barrington)

Leading this group are Sara Benge, our Science Instructional Specialist; Felicia Walker, 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Residence Life; and Micah Saugen, 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Science

California College Tour: Four of our students are visiting institutions of higher learning — all found within the environs of Southern California — with tours scheduled at UCLA; USC; UC Irvine; Cal State University Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Dominguez Hills; the University of La Verne; Loyola Marymount; and a number of community colleges.

The area has among the highest concentrations of colleges and universities within a large city area, and in addition to campus tours, the students are visiting the area’s famous beaches and sightseeing tourist destinations.

Staff members for this educational exploration include Meg Tokunaga-Scanlon, Music Instructional Specialist and Spruce House Parent; Sebastian Franco, 2017/2018 Professional Development Center Public Allies Fellow; and Josue Quintana, 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Music.

New Student Experience: Required by all new students at Eagle Rock School, this course is being enjoyed by 10 students who are just back from their three-week Wilderness Orientation experience. The purpose of this course is to further introduce — and prepare — these students for the Student Journey at Eagle Rock School.

The idea is to prepare them to further integrate into our learning experience for the week prior to the beginning of regular classes resuming next Monday.

Wall Tent Reintegration Experience: Finally, six of our students are spending the week in the outdoors, sleeping in wall tents and reflecting on their recommitment to Eagle Rock School’s values.

While residing within these on-campus tents, students will be exploring methods, approaches and resolution of conflicts, for the purpose of resolving such incidents before they get out of hand.

Called Restorative Practice, the idea is to teach students how to recognize when a conflict is developing, the impact of such conflicts on those who are victims and those who are responsible, and the steps that should be taken in order to set such situations right.

Explore Week concludes just one day before this Saturday’s 25th anniversary celebration, with regular classes resuming on Monday, July 2, 2018.

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