Utah’s Rugged Desert Areas Host 7 Eagle Rock Student Explorers

For a full month last trimester, we offered a new experiential outdoor adventure-based course for sevenveteran Eagle Rock School students — a wilderness course that entailed navigating inner and outer landscapes in the pristine desert areas of Utah.

We approached this exploration by focusing on three modalities of backcountry travel — backpacking, climbing, and rafting — which ultimately offered ample opportunities for participants to learn more about themselves nature, and where the two intersect. In addition to a human-powered outdoor adventure, students engaged in a rigorous academic experiences that included creative non-fiction writing and ecological earth science.

Among our group were students Angel Resendiz, Ay’Niah Rochester, Carter Raymond, Dauntay Acosta, Jacob Israel, Sequoia Masters, and Xavier Hagood-Edmeade. Support came from our amazing instructor team, which included Jack Bynum (Adjunct Outdoor Education Instructor), Leila Ayad (our 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Outdoor Education), and Amelia la Plante Horne (our current Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Outdoor Education, and Eagle Rock graduate). And as you’ll read later in this post, we connected toward the end of our trip with Nia Dawson (Student Services Program Manager).

We also had support from Song Candea, a snowboard instructor at Steamboat Resort and Eagle Rock graduate who has assisted us on our wilderness classes for several years, and myself — Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist Eliza Kate Wicks-Arshack.

And, following a week on campus to ground ourselves in the course curriculum, and packing for the trip, we headed to the desert.

Our course began with a seven-day loop in Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. Our route took us down the Twenty-Five Mile Wash, then 14 miles to the Escalante River, and up and out of Scorpion Gulch. We backpacked down massive slick rock domes, bushwhacked through forests of invasive tamarisk (a small shrub that the USGS says “favors sites that are inhospitable to native stream-side plants…”), waded down the frigid water in the Escalante River, and exited the canyon via a  Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Eagle Rock’s 2019/2020 Public Allies Fellows

Summertime will soon be just a memory as Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center’s students, instructors, staff members, and campus administrators make their way back to Estes Park for our 79th trimester.

Among those new and returning Eagle Rockers is a cohort of instructional, professional development, and student services fellows. This time around, our Public Allies Fellows includes a total of 12 new and returning charges, each either beginning or continuing a year-long commitment of service to the Eagle Rock community.

Public Allies Eagle Rock

Beginning next week, our dozen fellows will jump onboard and participate in everything we have to offer when it comes to education and professional development. And each of these fellows will be responsible for supporting alternative and progressive approaches to teaching and learning, with an emphasis on engaging students in their own education.

Claiming the title of Fellow is no walk in the park. Helping to mold fair and equitable societies takes work, and the task requires a stubborn passion and the courage to take action. Funded by AmeriCorps, Public Allies is centered around this concept… that everyone has the ability to lead and anyone can be an inspiration to others.

With that conception at the forefront, each of the fellows featured below has committed to becoming active participants in our unique residential and community-based form of education between now and next August. Each has already expressed or demonstrated a passion for teaching and youth development, as well as an interest in progressive education — which is very much what Eagle Rock School is all about.

Below, we present a brief bio and some random facts about each of these young leaders: Continue reading…

Community offers Eagle Rock’s Free Store the Coat Off its Back

Estes Park community members have always been big supporters of Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, and an excellent example of that local love came near the end of last year. That’s when a group of community members began making regular donations toward what would become our organization’s Free Store.

Located in our on-campus Lodge, the Free Store became fully functional at the end of 2018, and today displays unused garments, school supplies, toiletries, and other day-to-day items that can be used by our students and others in the Eagle Rock community.

Instead of driving these items to thrift stores in town, community members save up a few bags of clothing and other items, then deliver them to our mountainside campus to be displayed in the Free Store. And don’t think for a moment these hundreds of items are just strewn around an upstairs open space. In order to make Free Store items appealing for students and staff, volunteers separate them in order to determine which are appropriate to display, which can be offered to thrift stores, and which are most suitable for recycling. This process includes a detailed inspection. For example, with the apparel we receive, volunteers inspect each item to assess cleanliness and even wearability and durability for our sometimes harsh-weather environment here in Estes Park.

The Free Store is arranged categorically, with racks full of options for Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Eagle Rock’s 2018/2019 Fellows

Summer break is winding down here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, and that means we’re getting ready to welcome a new cohort of instructional, professional development, and student services fellows. Our 2018/2018 cohort includes ten new and three returning fellows — a baker’s dozen who are about to begin or continue a year-long commitment to service.

Eagle Rock Fellows 2018 2019

Our 13 fellows will immerse themselves in everything we have to offer in education and professional development — each responsible for supporting alternative and progressive approaches to teaching and learning, with an emphasis on playing an important role in engaging our students in their own education.

Below, we present a brief educational history and biography of each of our new and returning fellows:

Amelia la Plante Horne, 2018/2019 Fellow in Residential Life

Eagle Rock School FellowAmelia was born and raised in Las Vegas, N.M. After graduating from Eagle Rock School (she arrived in May of 2011, graduated in April of 2014), Amelia attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she designed and completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Ecological Praxis in Healing — a multidisciplinary degree that explored environmental science, anthropology, philosophy and psychology.

During her college years, Amelia’s non-academic activities included creating a campus Continue reading…