It is Thursday night. A heated soccer match is underway, dessert is upon us, and nightly reading will soon follow. Tomorrow will be the first week's, last day of academics. It is hard to believe, but the well-oiled DMC machine is at work. Thus far, things have gone by fast, and a lot has happened out here north of Durango town...
First of all, out here in the Four Corners region it is always worth noting the weather, and this week has been a mixed bag. Monday started things off very hot. Since our cadre of horse wranglers (all girls) has to pass by the Animas Valley Bank enroute to their riding grounds, they get to check the temperature guage. Reports from the beginning of the week had the temperature up near 100. Its summer though, and we don't sweat it. It just means that everyone, including the riders, bring along water wherever they go and make sure to drink a lot of it.
However, the hot spell didn't last long. There was a break in the heat last night, and all day today we have been experiencing some light sprinkles and rumbles coming in from the mountains. It should be a cool evening.
Otherwise, academics and outdoor pursuits have found a rhythm. Each camper is working with their tutor on improving their language skills. The phonics cards are out. Alphachips are getting put to work. We are learning Latin prefixes. We are writing complex sentences and outlines. We are decoding rabbit, tiger, camel, monster, and muskrat words. We are learning to spell those pesky, non phonetic RED words. We are writing paragraphs, and working on essays. We are reading nonsense words, real words, and of course actual books too. And, if you can believe it, there is more...
In general, academics is off to a good start, and the core tutoring period is reinforced with work in study hall and writing class. Not to be forgotten... the always important academic subject of ART is also happening this week. Campers have been moving all around campus taking photos. Thanks to Scott for being an awesome Art teacher this week, and teaching everyone about cameras and photography with a lot of patience and positive energy.
Outdoor pursuits have been a blast. As mentioned, the first week of horses are underway. Since we have a lot of experience in the current crew, they moved quickly through a review of the basics. A rain day today gave way to some indoor games, but tomorrow promises to offer some more excitement out on the riding paddock.
The riders' of the another kind of horse... the iron horse, have been all over the place. Up to Durango Mountain Resort and down into town, these mountain bikers have covered some varied terrain this week. There have been a few climbs, but mostly cross-country and downhill rides with a few riders succeeding in various Sobe Challenges (winning a Sobe after a feat of particularly strong endurance or strength on a bike).
The River Runners have been learning some basics about paddling on the water. They have spent some time on different parts of the Animas this week, and everyone is looking forward to a big day tomorrow where everyone gets to try something a bit more challenging.
Climbers have been all over the place as well. Thanks to our expert climbing staff, who are knowledgeable about not only the sport, but the best climbing spots in Durango, everyone is have a fun and safe time. Also, Greg and Justin have been called out a number of times by campers for their help and encouragement. Sebastian has been carrying ropes that are as big as him. Everyone is chipping in and having fun.
Finally, Wild Colorado is off to a great start. This week campers have been going out into the surrounding wilderness and learning some basic survival skills. These include making fires and shelter building. Also, campers got to do some target practice today, and apparently we have got some sure shots among us.
And not to be forgotten evening activities.... Soccer, ultimate, buddy beads and more have occupied everyone in the evening after dinner and before dessert. It has proven to be a good way to wind everyone down before nightly reading and then headed to lights out.
Looking ahead... We are excited for the weekend, a trip to Ouray, and fireworks in Silverton. It should be a blast!