Grade 7 students spent last week visiting America’s scenic and historic national parks, viewing their many natural wonders. Early in the trip, the students ventured to the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most breathtaking sights. “The students and teachers who have never seen the Grand Canyon before experienced a blind trust walk to a scenic spot,” said assistant middle school division head Patricia Burrows, who accompanied the students on the trip. “When they took off their blindfolds, the gasps of delight, wonder and marvel were so satisfying.”
The next day the students moved on to Monument Valley, situated on the Arizona-Utah border. Highlights included driving to Honeymoon Arch for a climbing challenge and to hear a Navajo elder share some of the tribe’s values and traditions. At lunchtime the students enjoyed an outdoor barbecue near the Three Sisters monument where their guide, Daryl, shared more about the Navajo culture. “He distributed to them healing rocks, which he encouraged them to keep in their pocket,” said Burrows. “The one he has in his pocket is 15 years old.”
On their last day in Monument Valley, students started their trip to Bryce Canyon, a journey which included stops at the Glen Canyon Dam and Pink Coral Sand Dunes. Playing among the dunes was a highlight for many students.
The students’ first sight of Bryce Canyon the next day elicited many awed gasps. “The vibrant colors of orange, white, green as well as the blended colors in between transported us to a world we do not experience in Silicon Valley,” Burrows said. “This is why this is such a special trip for our students.” Each bus group spent the day hiking around the canyon and preparing for skits they would later perform.
Before heading home, the students went on a short hike in Zion National Park, which was a favorite part of the trip for some students, who enjoyed “the wide variety of environments,” Burrows said.