116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The South San Juan Wilderness Trek is a backpacking and outdoor leadership program July 19-29 near Pagosa Springs in southwest Colorado, a 127,000-acre federally designated wilderness area along the Continental Divide. The program immerses high school students in a unique and exciting outdoor experience unlike any other available in Linn County and students may apply to participate in this free opportunity.
Through a fun, supportive atmosphere with structured risk-taking, students will expand in independence, responsibility, and will undoubtedly learn to trust themselves and others. With informal lessons and mentoring, students will learn about the natural and human history of the land, while acquiring valuable lifelong outdoor skills.
“Outdoor leadership opportunities have proven that group experiences in a wilderness environment serves as a valuable catalyst that enables students to become more responsible, tolerant, and self-confident,” said Kent Rector, nature center manager at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center. “Through intimate outdoor experiences, students are more likely to become peer leaders and develop a responsible appreciation for the natural world. More importantly, the outdoors reminds us all of what we’re capable of achieving and who we’re capable of becoming.”
Class size is limited and students are required to submit an application and letter of support.
This wilderness program has four core focus areas, or pillars:
Stewardship: Participants will work on an outdoor stewardship project designated by the U.S. Forest Service.
Study of Wilderness: Participants will form a personal definition for wilderness.
Environmental Science: Trek leaders will facilitate lessons covering aquatic biology, tree/flower identification, fire ecology, and more.
Outdoor Leadership Skills: Participants will enhance skills including communication, decision making, and risk management.
Thanks to outstanding community support from NATOPAKAMA Bittersweet foundation and other local support, Linn County Conservation is able to offer this opportunity free of charge.
Students must complete the application process by April 22. Application materials and additional information about the 2022 San Juan Wilderness Trek can be found on the South San Juan Wilderness Trek website at LinnCountyIowa.gov/conservation.