Summer is the time to take an adventure.
For the last three years, La Plata County 4-H has teamed with Denver 4-H for a five-day adventure throughout Colorado. This trip is called D2D (Durango to Denver), and it just finished up Tuesday.
Each year, we start our journey by meeting at the Great Sand Dunes National Park outside of Alamosa. Then, we carry on to the Mile High City to experience the urban environment. Activities in the city included volunteering at a community garden, exercising at Red Rocks and navigating the group through the 16th Street Mall using only public transportation.
Then, we traveled back to La Plata County. We always stop on the Continental Divide for a quick environmental and history lesson.
This year, activities included river rafting, swimming at the Durango Community Recreation Center and camping at the Old Fort in Hesperus. In addition, at the Fort Lewis Observatory, we received a wonderful astronomy lesson from observatory director and Fort Lewis College professor Charlie Hakes. We got to see great images of the moon, and Saturn was really cool. Also, a big thanks to Jamie, Gus and Kevin at Mountain Waters Rafting for a fun splash down the Animas River.
The D2D adventure always goes to wonderful places. However, the best part of the trip is the friendships and bonds our youths create. During the trip, members, ages 10 to 13, work in teams to perform different tasks and solve problems. We also have a different theme each year that youths explore throughout the trip.
This year’s theme was health. We focused on physical, environmental and community health. Each day, we started out with getting some exercise. We also provided only healthy snacks and water. We provided everyone with tin water bottles and reusable tableware to lower our waste. Lastly, we emphasized the diversity in our group as an example of positive community health.
This program originated in an effort to expose young people to other young people from different backgrounds. We feel it is important to have people at a young age learn about a variety of cultures and lifestyles though this experience. At the end of the trip, many realize how many more similarities we share with each other than differences.
The D2D adventure was a great success this year. We look forward to providing more adventures in the future. In today’s society of ongoing senseless tragedies, it is extremely important that we celebrate the diversity of our human race.
HHHThe 16th annual Old Fort Jackpot – Steer, Lamb and Goat Classic will be held Saturday in Hesperus at the Old Fort (18683 Highway 140, four miles south of Hesperus). The show ring will be under the big tent. There will be plenty of parking. Bring lawn chairs for seating. There will be a free showmanship class, and lunch will be provided for all participants (4-H and FFA).
For more information, call 385-4574.
Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at email@example.com or 382-6463.