For many years in the fall, the eighth graders traveled to Cripple Creek-Leadville. The trip complemented the students’ study of Colorado history. Later, as Cripple Creek metamorphosed into a gambling town, the eighth-grade team voted to change the trip and travel to Creede.
The Creede excursion continued the original trip’s emphasis on studying Colorado history and ecology. As always, I rely on Ms. Fetter as my fact-checker. “During the trip, Graland youngsters work with local elementary and high school students on various science projects, such as the study of the Rio Grande headwaters. More relaxing than other excursions, students and teachers stay in cabins, hike, do map studies, and attend a play at Creede Repertory Theater. They often visit the local graveyard to learn what cemeteries can tell about the history of the town.”
Highlights of the trip included the hospitality of our wonderful hosts at Blue Creek Lodge, Charles of Creede (as we called the magical teacher who brought us to Creede International Airport), the Underground Mining Museum, the town’s residents who treated us as if we were family. In addition, we visited the Sand Dunes and the infamous alligator farm.
I must share one memory of the Creede trip. On September 11, 2001, the eighth-gradE faculty woke up to the news heard round the world: the wanton destruction of the World Trade Center and the deaths of many. It became a time to think of heroism and gather together as a family. I shall always remember the sterling work of my colleagues as they met with our eighth graders and told them what had happened. Our students were worried about family and friends, as were we.
With the school’s support, we continued the trip. The Creede Repertory Company wanted the show to go on
-- forgive the cliche. The musical we would be watching that night was The Fantasticks. We decided to attend.
One song,”Try to Remember,” we thought, could be a problem. You may recall some of the lyrics:
Try to remember the kind of September,
When life was slow and oh so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September,
When grass was green and grain was yellow, etc.
I spoke with the students about the song-- a favorite of mine. I remember saying, “It is okay to cry during that song.” I reminded them this song had always affected me; many others wept that night, including the boys sitting on my left and right.
I shall never forget that night and this trip. The class of 2003 made us feel proud to be teachers.

Graland Country Day School

55 CLERMONT STREET    DENVER, CO 80220    303.399.0390   
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.