Kindergarten spring expedition

Thursday, May 9 - Friday, May 10

The Kindergarten's spring overnight camping trip to Western Colorado is a landmark expedition, marking the first of many desert adventures. Students practice team-building along with camping skills. They explore the geology of the area, learning about flora and fauna, constellations, and more. As always, our Outdoor Ed expedition fosters development of the school's five core values: character, respect, responsibility, community, and perseverance. They deepen their understanding of these values on the two Outdoor Education trips they take each year throughout their journey at ACDS. 

The children will be hiking and bouldering at Colorado National Monument. We will spend the first day setting up our campsite and going for a hike. Upon our return, we'll have games and learning activities, dinner, and a sunset hike. After a campfire (with s'mores!), it's time for bed; the children sleep in tents or, weather permitting, under the stars. In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, we pack up and have more activities, visiting the Dinosaur Museum in Fruita before lunch. With stops in Carbondale and Basalt, we are back on campus for the end of the school day. Photos are posted shortly after the expedition.

Outdoor Education program director Collette Newell leads this trip with the Kindergarten teachers. Outdoor Education is an integral part of our curriculum, and all students are expected to participate. There is no provision for students to remain on campus while their class is away. The cost of this trip is included in the annual activities fee.

  • leaving campus: 8:15 am
  • leaving Basalt Town Park: 8:35 am
  • leaving Cowen Center in Carbondale: 8:50 am
  • arrive Cowen Center in Carbondale: 2 pm
  • arrive Basalt Town Park: 2:15
  • arrive campus: 2:50 pm
 Packing list

wear on the first day

  • shoes & socks for hiking (example Salomon trailrunners with good rubber tread)
  • pants for hiking
  • shorts underneath for when it warms up
  • shirt for hiking (non-cotton; tech or smartwool-type fabrics are best)
  • layers on top for hiking (fleece jacket or pullover/sweatshirt)

in a duffel (no rolling suitcases please)

    • 1 pair sneakers or tennis shoes
    • extra socks (warm ones for in camp, plus another pair for next day, Smartwool-type preferred)
    • warm hat for evening
    • gloves or mittens
    • cozy bedtime shirt or pjs
    • underwear for day 2
    • warm jacket in case it gets cold
    • warm pants for in camp
    • sleeping bag with waterproof stuff sack (not a compression sack, one the child can stuff independently or with just a little help
    • an empty heavy-duty garbage bag in case anything gets wet
    • non-inflatable sleeping pad (best are the ridged foam kind that don't need to be inflated)
    • toothbrush & travel-size toothpaste
    • comb
    • stuffed animal or doll
    • headlamp or small flashlight (NO other electronics, please)
    • snack and lunch for the first day*
    • wide-mouthed water bottle (Nalgene-style, and full) (1 of 2)

in a small backpack

  • snack for the first day*
  • lunch for the first day*
  • wide-mouthed water bottle (Nalgene-style, and full) (2 of 2)
  • hat with visor (very important for the sun)
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • lip protection with SPF
  • rain jacket, waterproof

*On the Kindergarten trip, we find that the children eat more heartily and are better prepared for activity if they have one lunch and snacks from home. All other meals are provided. Please pack a lunch and snack to be brought along in the small backpack for the first day. If your child is an especially picky eater or has dietary restrictions, please let Collette know so we can plan dinner accordingly. NO CANDY on any trip, please!

Arrive appropriately dressed for hiking, with hiking shoes on and ready to go. Please label all items and pack the bag with your child so that he/she will be able to identify the equipment inside. If you have any questions, please contact program director Collette Newell at

NO ELECTRONICS, please, except a headlamp: this means no cell phones, no iPods or iPads, games, etc. NO sunglasses or glasses with video capabilities, NO smart watches. Only regular or Rx sunglasses and regular watches. "Radio silence" and a chance to unplug are important aspects of the Outdoor Ed program. Photos from the trips will be posted shortly after return for parents and children to share.

Aspen Country Day School
85 Country Day Way Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: 970.925.1909
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