Third Grade spring expedition

Wednesday-Friday, April 10-12

The Third Grade trip to Arches National Park near Moab, Utah is a great way to start off the spring season. Students build upon their fall rock-climbing experience with some extensive practice bouldering on the red rock "outdoor gymnasium" of this famed national park. 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 develop their "hard skills" in the outdoors -- camping, hiking, bouldering, desert ecology, geology and history of the area, climbing safety, and more. They also develop their "soft skills" in team-building and cooperation, bringing these important lessons back to the classroom after each trip. Each day is packed with adventures, and everyone tends to sleep soundly in our tents or, weather permitting, under the stars. Friday morning, we all help out to pack up our camp and head home, stopping for lunch along the way. With stops in Carbondale and Basalt, we are back on campus for the end of the school day. 

Outdoor Education program director Collette Newell leads this trip with the Third Grade team. 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.

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

in a backpack (let Collette know if you need to borrow one from school)

    • warm hat for evening
    • rain gear (waterproof pants AND jacket with hood)
    • warm jacket
    • shirt for hiking (non-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)
    • 1 pair sneakers
    • 1 pair Teva/Keen-type water sandals (no flip-flops)
    • bathing suit & small towel
    • sleeping bag with waterproof compression stuff sack 
    • non-inflatable sleeping pad (best are the ridged foam kind that don't need to be inflated, allowing children to be more independent)
    • toothbrush & travel-size toothpaste
    • comb
    • headlamp or small flashlight (NO other electronics, please)

in a small daypack

  • 1 lunch*
  • 2 days of snacks*
  • 1-qt. wide-mouthed water bottle (Nalgene-style, full)
  • hat with visor (very important for the sun)
  • sunglasses 
  • sunscreen
  • lip protection with SPF

*All other meals are provided. 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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