The week before Spring Break, details were released about the 9th grade’s upcoming trip to southern Utah. As outlined on the student portal page, the trip will entail backpacking and base-camping in several national parks over the course of 9 days, from April 28th to May 6th. Some of the locations mentioned in the trip’s itinerary include Zion National Park, Kodachrome Basin, and Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
While in Kodachrome Basin, the page explains how students will engage in “a variety of activity options.” These activities will involve “exploring the various facets of the park” through things like music, art, hiking, and “more.” Students will backpack a total of about 16 miles while in Escalante, and go on a “variety of hikes” while in Zion National Park.
While the page details many of the fun activities students will take part in, it’s not all fun and games. Listed on the page are several risks to be expected on the trip, including (but not limited to) “heat related illness, cold related illness, insect & animal bites & stings, falling rocks & trees, getting lost, physical trauma, burns, mountainous driving, swift water.”
In reaction to the information provided, 9th graders shared a variety of thoughts and opinions about the upcoming trip. Joe Antos ’25 proclaimed his excitement. He explained his history of going on many trips throughout his school career, saying “I did all sorts of amazing trips, but I’ve never been to Utah.” Even so, he expressed apprehension about the long drive there, intending to “sleep through the whole thing.”
Mateo Rodriguez ’25 felt a similar sense of apprehension about the drive, adding concerns about the seeming lack of audio devices allowed on the trip. “I understand that they want you to be…‘connected to the trip’ or something, but on a long car ride…music or an audiobook would be amazing,” he commented, also explaining how music helps him sleep. Rodriguez also voiced a much simpler concern, noting that he “just [doesn’t] like backpacking.”
“We’re gonna survive!” declared Sanai Gibbs ’25, who expressed great excitement about the trip, in spite of the previously mentioned car ride. She compared her expectations of the upcoming trip to the previous one, explaining how none of the freshmen really knew each other then. “To be honest, we were all kinda suspicious of each other. I think that now we all know each other very, very well…it’ll be a lot easier to bond.” As for the drive, Gibbs intends to bring games and related entertainment. “I’m like a really big fan of Mad Libs. I think I’m gonna get like three or four of those to last me the whole trip,” she added.
At the end of the day, the 9th grade has mixed feelings about the rapidly approaching trip to Utah. While there is an abundance of both excitement and apprehension, it’s clear that this trip is anticipated to be something that will be hard to forget.