- Summer Term
- Semesters in the American West & Patagonia
- Semester in Patagonia
- Andes Leadership Semester
- For Enrolled HMI Gap Students
- Meet the Gap Faculty
- Request Information
- Apprentice Program
- High Peaks Adventure
- Adult Programs
- Educators Expedition
- Lake County Backpacking Trip
Wilderness expeditions are highlights of the HMI Summer Term
During the Summer Term, two ten-day wilderness backpacking expeditions provide a unique environment to practice leadership and develop skills to live and travel in remote settings. Expeditions also provide an amazing backdrop for field classes, as the stunning scenery of the Rocky Mountains becomes a laboratory to explore and a source of inspiration.
The wilderness curriculum during the summer delves into skills students can transfer to life at home and/or to expeditions they lead in the future. Among other skills, students will learn how to read a map, how to cook delicious meals over a one-burner stove, and how evaluate and manage the hazards inherent to the outdoors. The backcountry also provides an ideal setting for students to develop leadership and communication skills, whether by leading their peers or receiving coaching from instructors. These experiences improve self-awareness, build an open-midedness to diversity, and develop interpersonal skills that will transfer far beyond the wilderness boundaries.
Typical Day on an Expedition
7:00 am: Begin the day by making pancakes with your tarp group while watching the sun rise.
The morning chill subsides as you pack your backpack and get ready for the day. Today you’re a “Leader of the Day.” Look over the day’s hiking route one last time before heading over to join the small group you will lead for the day.
As you hike through green meadows and past shimmering mountain lakes, students reflect on how differently people view and value wilderness. As you approach a trail intersection, you wonder whether to make a directive decision or consult the group about which way to go. You decide on the latter and pull out the maps to look at them together. Jokes and stories, plus a lunch break, fill out your time on trail.
3:00 pm: Arrive in camp by mid-afternoon and set up camp. Pack a snack to take with you to today’s leadership class which is about your personal leadership style.
For dinner, make macaroni and cheese from scratch, followed by brownies, for dessert.
8:00 pm: Under the summer sky, now filled with stars, gather as a group one more time to debrief today’s hike, reflect on the day’s accomplishments, play games, and share stories before bed.