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In Search of Ikigai

“In Search of Ikigai,” led by Ashley Carruth, Ande Lloyd, and Erin Skyles, devoted their three weeks to searching for “ikigai” (meaning) and connecting to nature. During this time students gained a very strong connection with their peers of all ages and discovered a sense of community within their groups.


This Osprey Block was divided into two groups for two different trips. The first was a backpacking trip around the trails near Engineer Mountain for 5 days where they went through difficult terrain in the backcountry, told their life stories by the campfire, and learned how to survive as a group in the wilderness. The second group went on a camping trip to the Lower Piedra Campground where they explored the area, hiked to a natural hot spring, and developed more community bonds by sharing life stories around the campfire.


The students also participated in community service projects at the La Plata County Humane Society and did trail work on Ophir Pass with the Mountain Studies Institute.


The teacher leaders of this trip pushed students to work hard and have fun together. Ashley expressed, “Ande and I were so impressed by all the students- for their strength, courage, kindness and desire to form a strong community out there in the field despite diverse backgrounds and ages represented. We had tremendous leadership from the older students, and amazing energy and commitment from the younger students.”


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