A Parent’s Perspective: An Amazing Experience…

“All three of my children went on the Principia Upper School Teton Trip; Dan in 1998, Lizzie in 2000, and Jason in 2003. For each of them, it was an amazing experience, unlike anything they had ever done before. The unique perspective you get in wilderness, the combination of times alone and then time together where you can share with your friends. Jason especially enjoyed doing this with a group of people he already liked and trusted, that pre-trip bond strengthened the experience.

They learned a lot about what to do in snow, how to be out in cold, how to be okay with whatever came out on the journal page. It’s hard to know if this particular skill set will come up in their lives again, but the trip is an amazing tool for creating a broader mind, a deeper perception of things, a way to appreciate life that can’t come out of classroom work. All three of my children took trips to various places that I feel made them better students, better people, better friends.

From a parent’s perspective, I think that even before the trip, just making the commitment to participate in the Teton Trip was a growing experience. We sat down together and looked at the cost of going, and the equipment list, and said, ‘Now, something creative is going to have to happen to make this possible, because we’re already doing all we can to pay for private school tuition.’

In Dan’s case, he asked many relatives to give him money to make the trip, borrowed gear from many friends, and then did some work to earn the rest of the money. In Jason’s case, he got a job at a fast food place, and arranged his life so he could keep up with school and get the job in. He was highly successful at balancing work, school, and the rest of life, and continued to have jobs when he got back. Even though I would never have encouraged him to get a job while in school, it turned out to be something he was good at.

For Lizzie, this was her first (aside from Middle School week away) school expedition. After this one, she signed up and earned money for a trip to Europe during the summer with an educational group outside of school, where she saw much of the art that she afterwards studied in Mr Beim’s course. Then she did her senior project with a friend and her dad in Ireland, and she brought home a love of Irish music which she afterwards sang all thru college with her friend Laura. Then she did a college PE course in the Bahamas, another in Colorado, and finally went to China in her college senior year. Oh, and now she’s working on a sailboat in the Caribbean.

So in a sense, the Teton Trip launched Lizzie’s love of travel as adventure, and buried forever the idea that a trip is expensive and most people can’t afford to go. It also launched an enduring love of journals, and especially journals that are beautiful.”

Sue Loomis, parent
St. Louis, MO

(Dan Loomis, 1998 Teton Trip
Lizzie Loomis, 2000 Teton Trip
Jason Loomis, 2003 Teton Trip)

2000 Journal Entry: “Outside it snows…”

Outside it snows
casually swirling
but never piling up on the ground.
Inside it is warm.
People read, draw, sleep
and focus cameras.
Each in their own direction,
yet connected by this trip.
Where will we all be 5 years
from now? Where was the
single snowflake 5 years ago?
Perhaps in the ocean or falling
on a tropical shore.
But now, today, it rambles
downward toward the cold sea of snow,
together, with its forever-family…
All from different places, now united.
Like us.

from the journal of Naomi McVey
2000 Teton Trip

2000 Participants

Doug Boudreaux
Rachel Charlston
Reid Charlston
Breanna Cooke
Heidi Cooper
Jennifer Davis
Laurie Erwin
Megan Ferguson
Shawn Fitzpatrick
Kristyn Gibbs
Alli Hays
Rachel Holser
Lizzie Loomis
Lillian McCall
Reid McCollum
Michelle McCurties
Naomi McVey
Emily Nofsinger
Kevin Pratt
Charlie Rankin
Beth Regan
Ethan Swartz
Sune Tamm-Buckle
Francis Wama

Principia Staff:
Lisa Kensler – Biology Teacher
Hal Hoerner – Principal
Lauren Hinchman – Former Student Participant

Writing Instructor:
Tarn Wilson – Palo Alto, CA High School English Teacher

Art Instructor:
Greg Houda – Jackson, WY High School Art Teacher