On July 21, 18 students from Kanab High School set out on a river trip adventure. They created memories that will last a lifetime. Upon arrival at Sand Island on the San Juan River, the students immediately jumped into the learning experiences with a short hike up to some ancient Native American petroglyphs. Soon after, the journey began by meeting the Grand Canyon Youth (GCY) crew, who were completely amazing! The company was experienced and fun, and created a good learning environment.

The first day came as a relief to many of the kids as an abrupt change to the normal pace of life. The beauty of nature enveloped the students as they yearned to understand more of this amazing world. As the trip continued to progress, the students had the ideal learning environment. The information they learned in the classroom through textbooks and lectures had come to life and taken on a whole new meaning. Students experienced science, language arts, and visual arts by careful observations of natural phenomenons: sedimentary rock formations, ancient native ruins, desert plant and animal life, and breathtaking, awe-inspiring landscapes.

They wrote Haikus, a form of poetry, which allowed students to express themselves through writing in a constructive way. Watercolors, sketching, and doodles were also encouraged to create an artistic perspective. Each student’s journal (handed out at the beginning of the trip) was filled with all this and more; thus creating the perfect memory book of the adventure-filled days on the river.

Four days later, 18 tired teenagers climbed out of the boats at Mexican Hat, thankful for the experience and excited to sleep. One student stated that this river trip was, “A great learning experience for me about the elements of nature, myself, and getting along with others.”

Friendships and memories were made, learning exploded, and fun was had. Thank you to GCY, the teachers, and students who made this outdoor learning experience possible!