Upon first gazing at the dirt roads and the lackluster vegetation as the van passed a sign “welcoming” a van driven by Glenna Kelly, ten seventh graders, and one hapless non-camper/passenger wearing a button-down dress shirt and khaki pants (yes, topsiders as well), there was a howl emanating from the van. “Stop, the van!”
A passenger stepped out and had one thought in mind, “Danger, Will Robinson!” Well, another thought crossed his mind, but this is not a proper place to quote the words he muttered. He stared in all directions, scratched his messy mop of hair, and climbed into the “death” seat of the van, lowered his eyeglasses, and calmly whispered, “Does anyone object if we go back to Denver?”
We stayed. The dust came; we saw it, and it conquered. Thank God, the rattlesnakes hid those l-o-n-g- four days as we sampled the pleasures of the potato and carrot factories. Eating a raw potato is not finger-lickin good. This was my introduction to the trip program. However, the Pawnee Buttes were breathtaking.
Here is Tuck Ganzenmuller’s rational and quiet explanation of the beginnings of school trips: “Field trips. . . were introduced in the late 1960’s with the sixth grade fall science trip and spring Southwest trip. . .(which) complemented the curriculum.” In addition, the eighth graders who study Colorado mining history in Cripple Creek and Leadville traveled to these areas for four days of camping and latrine digging. The seventh graders spent some days around Greeley so that they might become familiar with the agriculture and history of the plains and the grasslands, eulogized by James Michener in his epic Centennial.Camping skills, outdoor survival, hiking. . . and leadership skills are stressed with the ninth graders in their fall and spring trips.” In the spring the ninth graders traveled to the Sand Dunes National Monument. Now, there was a trip. I loved it. I had the privilege of going with the classes of 1980, 1981, and 1989 to this lovely spot. There was nothing like Creede; I could have lived without the winter trips since I am a klutz.
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.