Eleven 10th graders and three adult leaders completed a 12-day Cross-America Trekkers expedition on July 9th. As part of Team North Face with Trekkers, a youth-mentoring organization that connects young people and caring adults through expeditionary learning, the group traveled throughout Colorado and Utah, exploring the region’s environmental and cultural uniqueness.
To qualify for this expedition, the students were first required to complete a four-week prerequisite Life Skills Course in the spring. Led by Principal Program Manager Alaina Ennamorati, the students learned about resume-writing, interview etiquette, appropriate interview attire, and how to present themselves professionally to others. Each student created a resume to share with their interviewers. They dressed professionally and traveled to an area business where they participated in a 20-minute mock interview as if they were applying for employment there. This year, professionals from Camden National Bank, The First, Fisher Engineering, Glen Cove Dental Associates, Lonza Rockland and Machias Savings Bank hosted mock interviews for Trekkers students at their workplaces.
In addition to completing the Life Skills Course, the students also met collectively throughout the school year to plan their expedition around five educational components: community service, cultural awareness, environmental stewardship, wilderness exploration and adventure-based education. To incorporate these components, Team North Face learned about wolf rehabilitation at the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center; went whitewater rafting at Echo Canyon; took part in a cultural exchange with Native Americans at the Cortez Cultural Center; explored cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde; and hiked to Independence Pass at the Continental Divide at dawn. Their community service project was at the Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado, where they sorted 8,706 pounds of food, resulting in 6,964 meals to be served.
The Cross-America program is designed to give students the opportunity to explore firsthand the cultural and environmental uniqueness of a particular U.S. bio-region. To experience the area’s uniqueness Team North Face students and their mentors hiked and explored Arches National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park to learn about the mineral deposits, the unique geological features, and the desert ecosystem there. As one student shared, “I really need to live my life to the fullest.”
To see more pictures or read the trip log from the expedition, please visit www.trekkers.org and following the links to the 10th Grade Cross America Trekkers page. You can also view more photos by visiting Trekkers’ Facebook page: www.facebook.com/trekkersonline. If you’d like to learn more about Trekkers, please call (207) 594-5095.