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Lake County Backpacking Trip
Join your classmates from the Lake County Middle School for a fun four-day backpacking trip this summer in the spectacular Sawatch Mountains above Leadville. Visit beautiful high alpine lakes, learn how to cook pizza on a camp stove, sleep under the stars, make great new friends, and challenge yourself! The trip is free for all participants and will be run by the High Mountain Institute in partnership with Full Circle and the Lake County School District. No experience is necessary.
Who: Current 7th & 8th graders from the Lake County Middle School in Leadville, CO are eligible to participate.
2013 dates: July 22 - July 28
Day 1 - 2 (9am - 4pm): We'll take these days to get to know each other and start preparing for the upcoming backpacking trip. We'll learn how to set up a tent, cook a meal on a camping stove, and read a map. We'll also go on a couple of day hikes to warm up our hiking legs and go for a refreshing dip in Turquoise Lake. Transportation will be provided to the High Mountain Institute's campus each morning (just outside Leadville by the Fish Hatchery) and back home at the end of the day.
Day 3: (9am - 4pm): On our final day before our backpacking trip, we'll pack all of the food and gear that we'll need for our four-day backpacking trip. We'll also find some time to play a quick game of soccer with our new friends. All equipment will be provided. Transportation will be provided to the High Mountain Institute's campus in the morning and back home at the end of the day.
Day 4 - 7 (three overnights): Then it is off into the backcountry for four days of backpacking! We'll hike through the spectacular Sawatch Mountains above Leadville. At night, we'll camp near crystal-clear alpine lakes and under star-lit skies. Over the course of the trip, we'll learn the basic skills to camp and travel comfortably in the wilderness. At the end of the trip, our minds will be full with memories of the beautiful views, three days of laughter, and all that we have accomplished.
Frequently asked questions:
Is previous outdoor experience required?
No, you don't need any previous outdoor experience to participate in the Lake County Backpacking Trip. We'll teach you the skills you need to camp and travel comfortably in the backcountry. All you need is a willingness to try new things.
What equipment do I need to participate in the Lake County Backpacking trip?
We'll provide you with a detailed packing list before the trip. All equipment that you need for the trip can be borrowed from the High Mountain Institute for free.
What kind of food will we eat while in the backcountry?
One of the things we like to do is to eat good food (and lots of it!). You'll have lots of ingredients with you-pasta, rice, cheese, flour, bagels, tortillas, sugar, spices-for you to use in making delicious meals. Typical breakfasts include pancakes, cinnamon rolls, and oatmeal; you'll often eat rice and bean burritos, pasta with cheese and veggies, or pizza for dinner.
Where will we sleep while on the backpacking trip?
While in the backcountry you'll sleep in a tent with 2-4 other students. Boys and girls will sleep in separate tents.
How big will the group be?
The group will include up to 20 students (divided into two groups of 10) from the Lake County Middle School who are currently enrolled in either 7th or 8th grade.
Who will my leaders be?
The leaders for the Lake County Backpacking Trip will include staff from the High Mountain Insitute and Full Circle. Last summer's staff included Karl Remsen, Eliza O'Neil, Reed Holden, and Nick Gannon from the High Mountain Institute, and Rohan Roy and Marty Remsen from Full Circle.
Who from Lake County has participated in programs at the High Mountain Institute?
In 2010, Emma Cary, Aarika Johnson, Shania Martinez, Nick Mejia, Jerrad Padilla, and Benny Perez all completed the Lake County Backpacking Trip. In 2011, Cindy Avila, Kendra Brecka, Jessie Coffin, Morgan Fitzgerald, Magali Gallegos, Dominic Griego, Bryan, Gutierez, Nicole Mejia, Jonah Osborn, Julian Rascon, Andrew Sinclair, and Tori Stamps participated in the Lake County Backpacking Trip. In 2012, the participants were Cindy Avila, David Avila, Paulina Fierro Parra, Bryan Gutierrez, Diana Hernandez Trejo, Tanner Herron, Elijah Lujan, Christian Luna-Leal, Michael Mandano, Eddie Monge, Julian Navarro, Ismael Ramirez, Luz Rosales, Justine Salazar, Libby Smeltzer, and Tori Stamps.
A number of Lake County students have participated in our other programs as well, including, most recently: Jacob Bryant, Hannah Cary, Devan Erickson, Nubia Galindo, Mackenzie Gurrola, Caitlin Kuczko, Hannah Lufkin, Annie Moses, Jake McHargue, Cody Smith, and Kimberly and Ari Vierczhalek.
Do I need to be a Full Circle student to participate?
No, you do not need to be a Full Circle student to participate. The trip is open to any Lake County Middle School students who are currently enrolled in either 7th or 8th grade.
Do I need medical insurance to participate in the Lake County Backpacking Trip?
No. All students are welcome to participate in the Lake County Backpacking Trip regardless of whether they have medical insurance. We will buy short term insurance for any uninsured students (no physical is required) so that they have coverage for the duration of the trip.
How do I sign-up?
Please complete the application form and return to the front desk at the Lake County Middle School by Wednesday, April 24th. If April 24th has already passed, please return the complete application to Rohan Roy from Full Circle (email@example.com; 719-486-2400 ext 14) or Christina Reiff from the High Mountain Institute (firstname.lastname@example.org; 719-486-8200 ext 107).