Carson City Pioneer Academy students explore outdoor challenges at Rock Creek | Carson City Nevada News

“It is not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves.” This quote from Sir Edmund Hillary was a fitting theme for this year’s Rock Creek camping trip by Pioneer Academy students. After a two-year delay to endure a pandemic and then wildfires, 12 Pioneer Academy students and three staff members were finally able to embark on the outdoor canyoning adventure at Rock Creek along the Feather River .

The students spent four days and three nights in nature at Rock Creek, participating in stimulating activities and connecting these activities to the life and school challenges they face every day. With guidance from the Discovery Project leaders, students abseiled, climbed, scrambled, ziplined and even cooked their own meals. Each day, the students had to reflect on how they had overcome each obstacle on the journey. Each student has experienced a unique journey that has helped them in their personal discovery.

This year, many students reported having difficulty socializing with their peers and not knowing how to make friends or suffering from panic attacks when in large groups. Staff therefore focused on building team relationships and supporting the needs of others. The physical challenges the students faced every day quickly helped them realize that they couldn’t do this adventure alone, that they needed others to help them, and that others needed them to help them. to help.

Pioneer Academy teacher Jill Shufelt joined the students this year and summed up the experience saying, “Rock Creek is an amazing opportunity for our students to get out into nature and learn about themselves. They learn that they are capable of accomplishing difficult tasks and overcoming their fears. I like to see them grow and develop a solid relationship with them from the start of the school year. I think the bonds they formed on this trip will also help them significantly throughout the school year. They learned to rely on each other and to trust each other. I am so grateful to be a part of providing this opportunity for our children.

At the end of the trip, students were asked to reflect on their experience and growth. Tayla said she was able to overcome the fear that normally paralyzes her and keeps her from moving forward. Coullan said he was able to make friends and now felt confident being around people he didn’t know. Sariah said she gained a new perspective and respect from adults during the trip.

Then there was Haley, an online student who, like many Pioneer students, suffers from anxiety when around groups of people. She called the staff at the end of the trip to announce that she felt she could overcome her fear of being around people and join her new friends on campus in the second semester.

Not all students have had life-changing moments of self-discovery, but they have all been able to get a glimpse of what they are capable of when they push their limits, rely on others to help them, and offered help when they saw the need.