“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 most inspiring and learning-filled trips I’ve ever been on! I learned that animals and the environment really are a part of our life, even though we may not spend all day in nature when we are at school, or a job (just in everyday life). But nature surrounds us, and I learned we should revolve around nature and not disturb or destroy it.
The Tetons are intimidating and beautiful. They really put human size into perspective. I never considered myself a naturalist or environmentalist, but seeing this natural beauty showed me that we should be doing everything in our power to protect it.
I had such a great time drawing and doing creative/ artistic journaling while on this trip, and I have looked at my journal nearly everyday since we came back from the trip 🙂 it was truly amazing :)!
2009 Teton Trip
(Some pages from my journal:)
There were a few climbs.
Anneke and Ashton made it to the Upper Meadow.
There were many obstacles.
Garrett lounges in the snow.
Michael shares his favorite moment.
That deserves a cheer.
Heading back down was trickier than climbing up. Take it easy Karlie. Pizza slice.
Sunset over TSS. The building at the back is our classroom building.
Teton sunset. Inspiring.
Baby moose is trying to catch up to its mom.
Starry night over TSS with the Moon and Venus.
Scientific research on field day.
Another beautiful sunrise on the Tetons.
View East from our classroom.
The perfect spot for collecting our data.
Charlie and Christian pick a reference point for observing cloud movement over the valley.
Carolyn and Ashton observe cloud movement over the mountains.
A lot to consider.
Ashton points out clouds features for data points.
Tiffany jots notes into her journal.
Wren takes the notes for her group.
Both groups did well thought through presentations. Definitely “A” work.
Beautiful, clear morning in the Tetons.
Good morning. Beautiful sunrise on Grand Teton.
Anneke takes a picture of the sunrise on the Teton Mountains.
Kat and Charlie gaze out at the inspiring view.
View from outside our classroom.
Zoey has the perfect response to Paul’s question.
Karlie and Kat talk about how to explain their type of geological fault.
Tiffany has the answer.
Kristin gives a drawing demonstration in the Teton National Park Visitor Center.
Karlie and Kat count the Lodgepole Pine whorls to estimate the age of the trees.
Karlie takes a picture of snow piled on a pine branch.
Students snowshoe into the whiteness.
The 2009 Teton Group.
We met the day ready to get started.
The main lodge with Aspens in front.
Michael Booth talks about the connection between the scientific method and art.
Zoey takes notes while listening to Michael Booth.
Ashton listens intently.
Students learn to cross-country ski. Carolyn leads the pack.
Khale, one of our Graduate Student Instructors, talks about animal identification and habitat.
Christian relaxes in the snow.
Khale shows us the properties of snow in the snow pit.
Heading back to the classroom after a great day in the field.
Anneke draws from a small bird specimen in our classroom.
Carolyn and Wren create a story for this Coyote in the Murie Museum.
Zoey and Garrett study specimens in a museum case.
Tiffany and Michael work on a story for their chosen specimen.
You know that silly feeling you get when it’s almost time to go back to camp? or when it’s almost Christmas? The Teton Trip is a kind of Christmas/camp combination. And it’s almost that time again…
The 2009 Teton Trip leaves STL for the Teton Science School in Kelly, WY on Sunday 25 January 2009. As we get our gear together over Christmas break, I wanted to share these pictures from the 2008 trip with you. 🙂 (The snow is already falling in Kelly as I am writing this post. Heh heh…)
Above: Writing and Art Instructors Michael Booth and Kristin Serafini with matching weasel hats.
Some discoveries happen in the classroom (above)… but most of them happen outside! (below)