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…

Recapping the Events of Our Latest Explore Week

Our most recent Explore Week here at Eagle Rock served a pair of purposes. First, it enabled our instructors to catch their second wind and prepare for future coursework. Second, it gave our students the opportunity to be engaged in activities they normally wouldn’t have time for during the regular trimester.

Our latest such Explore Week was in late October, and our students were treated to a variety of classes and events that ranged from art expeditions to the stress-relieving benefits of beating on a drum. The week was highlighted with guest artists and speakers, as well as a few Eagle Rock staffers who just happen to have their own special interests that proved interesting enough to stir student interest.

Some of the activities conducted during Explore Week included:

  • Student leaders Ashalou and Aaron Simon were co-leaders for the 2014 Orientation Class for our newest students.
  • Students Emelia, Javonnie, Desiree, Cristian, Cat and Yeshra traveled with Cindy Elkins (Visual Art Instructional Specialist), Dayna Safferstein (Public Allies Visual Arts Fellow) and Niko Viglione Public Allies Human Performance Center Fellow) to Santa Fe, New Mexico, on an art expedition.
  • Criminal attorney William Galloway brought students Rahmel, Daisy, Melvin, Jenny, Aaron, Levi, DJ, Jared and Carson up to date on their rights as U.S. citizens. His presentations included preserving rights while interacting with the police, as well as the history behind some landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Through popular culture references — such as Jay-Z’s hit “99 Problems” — sprinkled with an abundance of courtroom “war stories,” Galloway turned the Bill of Rights and a couple of hundred years of Supreme Court decisions into an interesting and meaningful experience.
  • Estes Park Rotary Club members heard Eagle Rock students Hunter, Mikaela, Cassandra, Sonja, Kiyah, Marty and Khalil share their Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s CrossFit-ERS Literally Run the Gamut

Eagle Rock School CrossFit LogoAll right. It’s 4:45!  Time to warm up! Today’s workout is everyone’s favorite! Fran!!! 21-15-9! Thrusters and pull-ups!

Four days every week, a handful of staff and students report to Eagle Rock’s Human Performance Center for an intense hour of stretching, running, lifting, jumping — and whatever else the day’s workout calls for. They’re there because pain is good, and extreme pain is extremely good. They’re here for CrossFit ERS!

Eagle Rock School (ERS) has always engaged students in a range of physical fitness activities, including swimming, running, skiing, and dancing. Physical Fitness is written into our school’s eight themes and Developing Mind, Body and Spirit, as well as Making Healthy Personal Choices are part of Eagle Rock’s 10 Commitments. While these values were established in 1993, their true relevance hasn’t been more significant than in this era of virtual relationships, childhood obesity, and school curricula that is hyper-focused on using the mind, often at the expense of the whole person.

And now an exciting element has been added to our Human Performance curriculum in the form of our designation as an official school-based CrossFit Affiliate!

What does that affiliation mean? CrossFit is a different approach to working out, with the aim of forging a broad, general and inclusive fitness. To participate in CrossFit is to “Be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable.” Every workout is different and the intention is to prepare your body for all types of physical challenges.

Eagle-Rock-CrossFit-3In the end, CrossFitters are looking to increase fitness in a truly measurable way. The workouts challenge participants to perform “constantly varied functional movements at relatively high intensity.” But an even more important component of CrossFit is the communal aspect. The act of like-minded people working out together and supporting each other through the WOD’s (Workout of the Day) has created a worldwide CrossFit community that manifests itself in each Box (CrossFit gym) on a daily basis.

Three years ago, level 1 certified CrossFit trainers and ERS staffers Jeff Liddle and – yours truly, Jesse Beightol – started bringing CrossFit principles to the ERS curriculum through our Science of Strength, High Intensity Training, and Science of Fitness courses. While each of these courses was unique, students used CrossFit and their experiences in the workouts to take a deeper look at their personal fitness and make predictions about their own future health.

Our students would study posture, flexibility, and the musculoskeletal system in a classroom setting for a time, then participate in an intense CrossFit workout that would solidify that classroom learning. That, in turn would enable students to Continue reading…