(left) Juniors prepare for a climb during their camping trip in the Ventana Wilderness.
It’s also one of the programs that makes Dunn different from other area schools, a difference that’s important to junior Hunter Hartmann. “I like being outdoors. That’s where I like to spend my time, away from everything else.” Two weeks before the sophomore trip, Hunter’s junior class headed off into the wilds of the Ventana Wilderness, a rugged range full of rocky peaks, clear flowing streams and groves of old growth redwood trees. Bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean and Hwy 1, and to the west by the Salinas Valley and Hwy 101, this was the first time in many years that Dunn students have ventured to this remarkable area.
near the climbing site, taking time for solos and reflection at daybreak, completing challenging uphill climbs, visiting natural hot springs, spending time with friends, cooking their own meals on a camp stove, and learning just how fast business manager Chad Stacy can run when chasing a flying tent! Faculty like Stacy were more involved than ever this year, volunteering to take time away from family and work responsibilities in order to venture into wild places with students. Faculty members enjoyed the new close relationships they formed with students and reveled in the peaceful moments found far from the business of daily life. Many other faculty filled equally important roles covering classes, advises, coaching and dorm responsibilities back on campus,
making Outdoor Education at Dunn a whole school process. Throughout the week, juniors were encouraged to further develop the characteristics and attitudes necessary for success in a leadership role in the 12th grade. They were also prompted to consider the kind of leaders they will be in their senior year and what sort of legacy they might leave behind once they graduate. Under the careful facilitation of their group leaders, they carried a heavy share of the group decisions and expedition leadership. “It was the best outdoor trip I’ve been on,” said Jake Eisaguirre. “It was something completely different than I was expecting. The trail we took had us walking continued next page
In addition to four days of backpacking in the mild spring weather, the students spent a day rock climbing. “I had an awesome time,” said Carolyn Dorwin. “I was with a group of kids that I don’t usually hang out with so it was interesting getting to know them and working with them. I really enjoyed that part of it.” For Michelle Thibodeaux, it was nice just getting away into the wilderness. Like Carolyn, she enjoyed the climbing as well as swimming in the Big Sur River.
(above) 7th graders Jasper Beckmen and Charlie Kulp set up their tent at Pinnacles National Park. (left) A group of 7th graders pause during a hike on their outdoor education trip this past spring.
Highlights for other students and faculty included amazing views of the ocean and tall trees, seeing native American history DUNN JOURNAL 2013 | 5
COVER STORY Wilderness Warriors – Dunn students venture into the outdoors for education of a different kind.