P.E. in the Rockies

The “P.E. in the Rockies” backpacking trip is an elective summer course/trip offered to 8th-grade students who complete the school year in good standing through an application process. Students will meet for three six-hour mandatory classroom sessions in April/May and then participate in a fifteen-day sightseeing and backpacking trip to Colorado in July.  Those who complete the classroom experience can earn one high school Physical Education credit.

The trip portion of the course includes visits to Colorado Springs (Garden of the Gods), Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Telluride, the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness Area, the Ouray Hot Springs, and whitewater rafting on the Colorado River. Students tent camp along the way, sharing a tent and camping equipment with a partner they have selected from the group.  The trip culminates in a five-day wilderness experience during which students hike, explore, and put into practice the wilderness skills they have learned in the classroom.

How much does it cost? $500

What does the price cover?
The price covers travel, entry to the campsites and national parks, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and equipment rental.

What equipment will be made available to students? Hiking pack, stove & cook set, tent, water filters, sleeping bag, and bear bags.

When are the classroom portions? Are they mandatory?  They ARE mandatory. They will take place on April 22nd, May 6th, and May 20th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

What are the classes for?  Classes prepare students for the requirements of the trip. There is a physical education portion where students exercise and we assess their ability. There is also a hike every class.  Students also learn about the terrain they will experience as well as how to use the equipment they will have. A portion of the class will also cover nutrition and planning for meals while hiking/backpacking. 

Do you ever stay at a hotel? No – we tent camp the entirety of the trip.

What kind of activities will students get to do?

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking
  • Tent-camping
  • Horseback riding
  • White water rafting

Do you need hiking/backpacking experience to go? NO! 🙂 – Just motivation and enthusiasm to prepare for it!

How many people get to go? A maximum of 20 students are selected through an application process.

When will applications be made available? Applications will be available March 2-3 (Thursday/Friday) in their science class. 

How many adults go? Two Colorado Trip leaders and two chaperones (4 adults)

How are students selected? We select students based on:

  • Academic standing – grades should be decent
  • Behavior/Discipline records – can’t be in trouble
  • Counselor/Principal recommendations
  • Teacher and other adult recommendations

Will students have access to restrooms? For most of the trip, the campsites will have restrooms. There will be no access to restrooms during the backpacking portion of our trip (5 days).

How do students travel to Colorado? We take an SPV vehicle and a cargo van. It’ll take two days to get to Colorado. We tent camp at campsites when we stop for the night. 

Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
Ana Kaufman (GJHS) – akaufman@goshenschools.org

Matt Katzer (GHS) – mkatzer@goshenschools.org