First Grade spring expedition

Wednesday-Friday, April 15-17

The First Grade's spring expedition has it all: fossils and dinosaurs, bouldering, camping, and hiking. As always, our Outdoor Ed expedition fosters development of the school's five core values: character, respect, responsibility, community, and perseverance. Students 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 in Colorado National Monument of the U.S. Park Service near Grand Junction. Our first stop is the visitor's center, where we are greeted by rangers and enjoy a slide show. Then it's off to hunt for fossils (always a favorite) and set up camp. After dinner, we have a short sunset hike, campfire, and are soon snuggled in sleeping bags in tents or under the stars. On the second day, we are up early for a longer hike -- six miles -- with all kinds of learning activities and an evening with s'mores around the campfire. On our last morning, we pack up and check out the Children's Nature Center in Grand Junction. Click here to download, print, sign, and return the waiver (required for your child to touch exhibits and animals at the center.) We stop for lunch on the way home. We return the adventurers to parents in Carbondale, Basalt, and back on campus by the end of the school day.

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

in a duffel (no rolling suitcases please)

    • warm hat for evening
    • rain gear (waterproof pants AND jacket with hood)
    • warm jacket
    • shirt for hiking (not cotton; tech or smartwool-type fabrics are best)
    • fleece pants for around camp
    • fleece jacket or pullover
    • shorts
    • gloves or mittens
    • underwear
    • socks (2 pair)
    • hiking shoes or trail runners (wear to the bus)
    • 1 pair sneakers
    • 1 pair Teva/Keen-type water sandals (no flip-flops)
    • sleeping bag with waterproof stuff sack (not a compression sack; a heavy-duty garbage bag is easier for the children to stuff)
    • 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)

in a small backpack

  • snacks for THREE days; all other meals are provided*
  • wide-mouthed water bottle (plastic and full)
  • hat with visor (very important for the sun)
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • lip protection with SPF

*If your child is an especially picky eater or has dietary restrictions, please pack their lunches. In addition, 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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