Into the Wilderness

Ava Atkinson, Reporter

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Over the summer, Erica LeGrand, Centaurus’ Intervention Coordinator, took a group of students on a trip to do trail work in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. The purpose of this trip was to not only have fun and do community service, but also to experience new things and learn how to survive in the wilderness.

Throughout this experience, spanning three days and two nights in the Roosevelt National Forest, the students and LeGrand worked alongside Americorps members to clear boulders, trees and debris from trails that were damaged by the 100 Year Flood of 2013. As well as rebuilding the trails, the students learned backwoods survival skills like making matchless fires. Afterwards they “played games around the campfire” which was Hannah Holzer’s favorite part of the trip.

This whole trip was through the Cottonwood Institute, a program dedicated “to connect[ing] underserved students to the outdoors and empower[ing] them to take action to improve their schools, the community, and the environment for future generations.”  Six students from Centaurus took part in this adventure, Yesenia Jurado, Valeria Rubio, Jessica Aldama, Esme Morales, Hannah Holzer and Emily Sotelo.

LeGrand said her favorite part of the trip was “seeing all the girls bond through service work [and] seeing them grow.” Student Esme Morales’ favorite part of the trip was “moving all the rocks and giant pine trees from the middle of it and just having fun with the other girls that were there too.”

Most of the girls who went on the trip enjoyed it thoroughly and “would love to go on another trip like this,” said Holzer. They learned things like “helping people build or fix anything makes you feel better” according to Morales. This seems like a pretty good reason to continue to do good things in the community.


For more information about trips like this visit http://www.cottonwoodinstitute.org/about/

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