“Duane and I are both so grateful that 2 of our 3 boys who attended
Principia Upper School decided to go on the Teton Trip. It was truly a
once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each of the boys came back with
tremendous enthusiasm and joy after their time there. As parents we are grateful for several things about the trip.
With 4 boys, we have not had the funds to do a lot of travelling, so we
are thrilled that the two who went on the Teton Trip got to see a
beautiful part of the country that they might not have had the
opportunity to experience otherwise. Even better, they got to learn
experientially—about clouds, animal adaptations in the snow,
how they fit into communities, and ways to record their discoveries through art and journaling. They also had the chance to learn to cross country ski, which they both enjoyed thoroughly. They
got to experience wildlife up close (bison, elk, moose, coyotes, pine
martins), deeper snow than they ever imagined, and make friends with
kids they would not have gotten to know otherwise. Both Teton Trip
groups contained very diverse groups of students, and our boys came back with new friendships that continue to this day. For one of our sons who has never enjoyed traditional school, learning in this way was, in his
words, ‘one of the best experiences of my life.’
Both of our sons are members of sports teams and had to miss some
practices and even a game or two to attend the trip. Both felt that the
sacrifice was definitely worth it. Duane was the assistant coach of the
girls’ varsity basketball team this year and noted that the team member
who went on the Teton Trip this year played her best basketball after
returning from Jackson Hole. We will always feel incredibly grateful
for what our boys took away from the Teton Trip experience and highly
Susan Thomas, parent
St. Louis, MO
(Samuel Thomas, 2007 Teton Trip
Christian Thomas, 2009 Teton Trip)
“The Teton Trip was one of the best experiences of my life. Now I know that a lot of people say that about things that they think are cool but for me, the January trip to the Teton Science School was the single most influential time in my life in forming an opinion about myself: who I was and who I wanted to become. The whole trip was gratifying but there was one day in particular where a lot of light bulbs went off in my head. This was the day when we went on our night hike. We left after dark and snowshoed for quite a while. When we stopped, we were told to lie down in the three feet of snow and be quiet. For a long period of time, no one moved. We all lay in the soft snow, eyes searching in the star-scattered, moon-lit sky for inspiration. That night was the first time in my life that I truly heard silence and it was that silence that completely cleared my head, allowing me to reflect on ME. I am extremely grateful for the whole trip, that night especially, and if the opportunity presented itself for me to go back, I would in a heartbeat.”
St. Louis, MO
2007 Teton Trip
We arrived at the Jackson Hole, WY airport at about 11:30pm Sunday night. The waxing half moon helped us find our cabins at the Teton Science School. We probably had the kids in bed by 1am, and got a late start the next morning. We pushed breakfast back to 8:30am Monday morning. This is what I saw on Monday 29 January 2007 when I stepped out of my cabin (Sleeping Indian) at 8:19am.
Group photo – 2007
Back: LP (Trip Leader), Jody (Host), Ellen (Writing Instructor), Alyssa (Sponsor), Christian, Mike (Teton Faculty) Cédric, Nate, Brock (Sponsor), Adrienne (Teton Instructor), Andrew (Teton Instructor), Kristin (Art Instructor)
Middle: Jodie, Andrés, Charlotte, Rachelle, Nick
Front: Caroline, Karlin, Dana, Samuel, Keith
Our plane for the trip home.
Morning hike up to Coyote Rock. (-40 F w/wind chill)
Snowshoeing up to Coyote Rock in the morning.
Breakfast in the snow.
One last rise to the top.
View from Coyote Rock
Fabulous Five: LP, Ellen, Kristin, Brock & Alyssa.
Out of the wind.
Caroline adds color to her journal.
Cédric adds to the community journal.
Loving the field work — reading tracks.
Nate working with his group on their science project presentation.
Karlin doing some journaling.
Samuel listens to his group as they get ready to defend their hypothesis.
Sunset on the Teton Range.
Grand Teton sunset.
Listening to Beth McIntosh concert.
A concert in the lodge. The students loved the soulful, earthy music.
Beth McIntosh picks a thoughtful tune.
Bald Eagle on Telephone Pole. Spotted by Christian on return trip from Elk Refuge.
Standing to get good shots of the Elk.
Binoculars were useful to get a closer look.
A lot to see on the Elk Refuge.
Approaching Elk on their daily trek from the feeding area.
Young Elk learning to fight.
Bambi has the largest rack on the refuge.
Sleigh ride out to the Elk herd.
Moose walking through camp in the morning.
Near the end of the Snowshoe trail.
One last hill before home.
Finding a new vantage point to gather clues about the nature of the Teton Range.
Making a journal entry.
Back to studies.
A little time for playing in the snow. A frisbee diversion.
Looking for signs to answer to the question, “What happened here?”
The group gets a lesson on gathering clues and observing the surroundings.
First: Find some silence and immerse yourself in it. In your journal, describe the silence.
Then:Fill a page (even a whole spread) with your perspective of the world today. This can include words and/or images.