Sixth Grade spring expedition

Monday-Friday, April 29-May 3

please note: departing from Aspen Chapel parking lot Monday morning, 8:15 am; late return to campus Friday afternoon, 5 pm 

The Sixth Grade trip heads to Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for a challenging and exciting adventure. It comes up right after the All-School Play, and is a great way for the Sixth Graders to learn and practice many new skills in an "outside the box" environment. 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. 

Sixth Graders will apply the "hard skills" they have learned in the outdoors to these new surroundings: camping, cooking, bouldering, desert ecology, map and compass skills, geology and history of the area, spring constellations, and more. Skills that may be new to many students include canoeing with the J-stroke, righting a swamped canoe, and backpaddling. They also develop their "soft skills" in team-building and cooperation, bringing these important lessons back to the classroom after this landmark trip.

We arrive in Lake Powell the first day in time for a canoe and safety orientation, dinner, and learning activities at a campsite near the Bullfrog Marina, launching point for our adventure. The next day, we paddle to our campsite -- a beautiful spot that's ideal for a group of our size. We spend our days hiking the nearby canyons, swimming, paddling, and learning about the geology, history, and ecology of this Western landscape. On the last morning we paddle back to the marina, pack up our vehicles, and head back home, stopping for lunch along the way. With stops in Carbondale and Basalt, we are back on campus by 5 pm (a later arrival than other trips due to the longer day of travel). Photos are posted shortly after the expedition.

Outdoor Education program director Collette Newell leads this trip with Middle School 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 comprehensive activities fee.

  • leaving Aspen Chapel parking lot: 8:15 am
  • leaving Basalt Town Park: 8:35 am
  • leaving Cowen Center parking lot in Carbondale: 8:50 am
RETURN: Friday 
  • arrive Cowen Center in Carbondale: 4:05 pm
  • arrive Basalt Town Park: 4:15
  • arrive campus: 5 pm
 Packing list

in a backpack (no rolling suitcases or duffles)

    • 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 (3 pair)
    • 1 pair sneakers
    • 1 pair Teva/Keen-type water sandals (no flip-flops)
    • bathing suit & small towel
    • sleeping bag with waterproof stuff sack (small and compact)
    • non-inflatable sleeping pad (best are the ridged foam kind that don't need to be inflated)
    • toothbrush & travel-size toothpaste
    • comb
    • headlamp or small flashlight (NO other electronics, please)
    • plastic camping bowl, cup, and spoon

in a daypack

  • ONE lunch for the first day*
  • FOUR days of snacks, non-perishable*
  • TWO 1-qt. wide-mouthed water bottles (Nalgene-style, 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!

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.

Arrive appropriately dressed for hiking, with hiking shoes on and ready to go. Please label all items. By the time children are in Sixth Grade, they should be responsible for doing most of their own packing, with a quick check from parents that all items are included, no unnecessary items are added, and everything is easy to find. If you have any questions, please contact program director Collette Newell at

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