Minturn middle schoolers climb mountains |

Minturn middle schoolers climb mountains

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyInnes Isom, Minturn Middle School sixth grade teacher and adventure director, and Symon Hayes, school designer, led a group of students up to Homestake Peak for a two-night trip on the 13,200-foot summit.

MINTURN, Colorado ” Students from Minturn Middle School recently went on a two-night trip to Homestake Peak, where they stayed in a 10th Mountain Division hut overlooking Mount Massive and Mount Elbert.

The students were able to snowshoe or ski five miles to the hut and took another two-mile hike up to the 13,200 foot summit.

Innes Isom, sixth grade teacher and adventure director at Minturn Middle, says that the grade levels fade away when students are in the backcountry. There was a community feeling where eighth graders cooked dinner, played cards and hung out with sixth graders, he said.

The students prepared for the trip in Isom’s “Freeheel Society” after-school program, which takes place one day a week.

“The kids get to sign up for cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and other activities that allow them to take advantage of where they live,” says Isom. “The pride and joy they feel after accomplishing such activities reminds me of why I love being a teacher.”

The trip cost $25 dollars for each student, thanks to Lee Rymal, who funded most of the trip.

Minturn Middle School is an Expeditionary Learning school, which means the curriculum revolves around extensive, long-reaching projects that examine big issues in history. There are plenty of field trips, lots hands-on work and study with experts. The school also focuses on character development, teamwork and giving students chances to get out of the classroom together.

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