From Austin, Texas
First trimester student
Lost Creek Wilderness
Either 4:00am or 6:00am. If we are on a layover day, 8:00am.
If you wake up late one day, you have to wake up 10 minutes earlier the next day
Immediately after waking up we all stretch for 15 minutes
Kitchen Patrol (KP) starts making breakfast for people. Everyone else breaks down camp, fills up water bottles, takes down tarps, and cleans up
Everyone eats breakfast for 15 minutes, then continues to break down camp
Morning Gathering might take an hour or hour and a half. We have a specific list of 9 or 10 things to get through and also share goals.
Leave No Trace
After gathering everyone does a sweep of the camp to practice Leave No Trace. Instructors do a secondary sweep
Circle up, instructors go over the daily plan, how far we were going to hike. The shortest we hiked was 1.5 miles, the longest was about 6.5 miles. If we are getting a slow or late start, we do gathering once we’re on the trail.
Head out on trail!
Eat lunch on trail
After lunch: Mini Solo. We can’t continue hiking until we’ve done mini solo. Everyone sits 50 ft. from each other somewhere off trail. You can’t talk or go anywhere. You grab your sleeping pad, get comfy, and open your journal to the reflection pages. Instructors will give a question that prompts an answer, like “What do you hope to gain out of the wilderness experience?” You have to write one page minimum. I loved taking naps after I got my work done.
Our goal is to get to camp by 5pm every day. We usually got there at 5 or 6pm
Once we get to camp we start E.G.G.S. That stands for:
- Essentials (put on camp shoes, get water, rest- about 10 minutes)
- Group gear (Take out dromedaries, trekking poles, water filters, and organize in one pile)
- Group tasks (Water crew goes to get water, we set up our tarps, sleeping bags, and KP starts)
- Self (do what you need to do, take a longer break, goof around, bathe, wash hair, eat a snack, get more water)
We usually get done with E.G.G.S. after an hour or hour and a half
KP shuts down, Eat dinner
Leader of the Day time (LOD). The leader of the day sets the gathering time, which is usually between 7 and 8pm.
- There will be a check in question for the group to answer.
- Creative Juices: where people can share a poem, joke, or song.
- Then we move into Pros and Grows for the day.
- 10 minutes of mini-solo reflection.
- The LOD gets feedback.
- Patrol Time: the group shares concerns, gives c4s, talk about what we want to do better at tomorrow
- Instructor time: mini lessons, they read out of their journals, share concerns, give us feedback Plan of Tomorrow
- Navigator gets out map and shows the group tomorrow’s route and a preview of trail
- Closure: If there’s time, we can get hot water nalgenes, or have chill time. This lasts an hour maximum.
Go to bed! This depends on what time gathering finishes. We usually went to bed at 8:45 or 9pm.
There are two layovers on course.
1st layover was on Day 6. This is a rest day, no walking, and team building activities. We talked about what needs improvement, meets expectations, and what we were doing good on. It was a group evaluation. On the 2nd layover everything improved (language, respect, participation). We also did this at Banquet.
There are two resupply days on course
On resupply you get letters from home, get fresh food. The letters are really important and significant. Usually we hiked to resupply and then went back to camp
There are three different groups that help with resupply. The LOD floats between them.
- Food- fills up the food bags
- Gear- cleans and refills gear
- Clean- bleaches bowls and washes pots with soap
This happens the day after the first resupply. Started at 9am, safety overview, then climbing!
Usually 2 days. We did trail service, clearing the trail, and trail maintenance
Lasts for three days. Started at 9am, instructors gave us three hours of work. You’re in a 15×15 area, and you can’t leave. Solo ends at 9:00am on day 4. Instructors check in on you multiple times a day. They are checking for needs, first aid, etc. At the end they prepare a huge meal for everyone.
By the end of course we were running everything by ourselves, and didn’t need any instructor help
This was the last day in the field. We hiked 3 miles to Banquet. It was at a beautiful spot next to a river.
- First we de-issued all of our gear.
- We circled up and debriefed the entire wilderness experience.
- Last mini-solo. You get your final letters from loved ones and people from the community
- Everyone does different rotations in a natural sauna. You come out a new person.
- We ate burgers and hot dogs for dinner, and had a campfire.
- Gathering lasted for 2 hours that night. We gave patrol feedback and individual appreciations.
- We closed and went to bed.
- Woke up and finished de-issue and got into the buses to drive back towards Eagle Rock.
Started at Gem lake. Run-in is 6 miles. Everyone on campus welcomed us, we showered, and we ate a nice dinner back in the lodge.