From November 6th through 9th, Sequoyah’s 12th graders will go on their senior retreat—a four day canoe trip down the Colorado river along the Nevada-Arizona border. According to Brian Eagen, Director of Field Studies at Sequoyah, this four-day, three-night trip will be “A float trip, which ‘is a great opportunity for the class to have a relaxing and remote experience in a wilderness setting.” Eagen thinks it is a great way for the seniors to share their final group experience before splitting into a variety of trips in the spring.
The first day will be spent driving four and a half hours to Lake Mead, a reservoir on the Colorado River 40 miles east of Las Vegas, Nevada, where they will camp for one night. The second, third, and fourth days of the trip will be spent canoeing down the Colorado River. At stops along the river, they will be looking at and jumping into some of the natural hot springs in the area. Eagen said that no one should be scared about the trip; there are hazards though, such as water play, sun exposure, and Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba that is rare to contract. Students are encouraged to use sunscreen and personal floatation devices; they must also ensure that they do not dunk their heads in the hot spring (to avoid contracting the amoeba).
This trip, Eagen hopes, will feel “more relaxed than most previous Field Studies experiences.” He also hopes that it will be at a “slower pace” and that they will “be able to share a supportive and reflective experience as the seniors move into their last year at Sequoyah.” This trip is also a change from last year’s 12th grade retreat to Quail Springs.
Eagen said there has been one issue in planning the trip: the shortage of permission slips turned in by seniors. As of October 30th, about 8 out of 42 seniors have not turned in their permission slips. “It’s basically impossible to find a comparable substitute for a Field Studies trip,” Eagen said, referring to what you would do if you weren’t going on the trip, “which is why we work so hard to make sure we are choosing trips that are appropriately challenging, and enjoyable for everyone.”
On the trip, students will be eating food similar to what they have consumed on other Sequoyah camping trips. For breakfast, students will have a daily buffet with a variety of options, such as bagels, cereal, granola, grapes, strawberries, and yogurt. Sunflower seed butter and jam will also be provided for toast as well. For people with food allergies, there will be muffins, coconut milk, and almond butter for toast. Different assortments of tea and coffee will be provided for people who need caffeine in the morning. Breakfast burritos will also be served on one of the mornings during the trip.
For lunch, there will be a sandwich bar with a variety of meats, cheeses, condiments, and other toppings, such as bell peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce. There will also be an option to make alternative sandwiches, such as sunflower butter/almond butter and jam sandwiches, which will be provided along with the regular sandwich items. Dinner options will be similar to previous camping trip meals as well. Dinners will include trail pizzas, thai curry, and pasta with red sauce.
Senior Finley Morrison said he is very excited about the trip. “I am definitely excited to go canoeing, I love water activities, and especially with such a large group.” Morrison said he is also looking forward to the community aspect of the trip, as all the seniors gather for one final adventure together.