Mountain Classroom: Thriving on Solos

Posted by Mountain Classroom

02/14/2016

 Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom arrived in Southern Arizona last Thursday for solos at the Cascabel Conservation Association. On Friday, we organized our solo gear, helped the community dig holes and plant trees at their orchard site, and then transitioned to the trailhead where we would next hike to our solo sites. On Saturday morning, students walked out to their solo sites after a sage ceremony. They made their homes in the desert with the company of the sun, saguaros, and provisions of their choosing. On Tuesday afternoon we came back together as a community, shared stories, and feasted. On Wednesday we drove farther south in Arizona to spend time at the Tohono O'odham Reservation (read about this adventure in our next blog)!

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Below, students reflect on the power of their solo: 


Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Max B. ‘16: “Every morning I would wake up and remember all the dreams I had so vividly. Being free from distractions allowed me to experience just how much dreaming I get done every night.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Lilah ‘17: “By the end of the first day sitting there in the quiet I was able to distinguish between different insects because of their sounds. Without even specifically paying attention to the bugs I was able to tell what was around me just by listening.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Avery ‘17: “On the second night I realized that I was not able to distinguish between talking and thinking. I was looking up at the stars and I started telling them stories. I went through our daily activities since Mountain Classroom started and I was singing to them in Spanish. My eyes started getting heavy with sleep and I realized that the stars and constellations had shifted in the sky almost 30 degrees. Up until that point, I hadn’t realized that I was watching the night sky move.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Cole ‘17: “I was looking up at the stars and one looked a different color. Every time I focused on the star it would move higher in the sky and I would look away. No matter what I did I could not keep from looking back at the star. I decided that I was either going insane or there were aliens making me want to check them out.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Liza ‘17: “This morning the first thing I did was take down my tarp. I got to eat breakfast while sitting in my sleeping bag and experience the sun slowly expand to cover my campsite. It was the most calming moment on my solo. It felt like I was in my bed while nature was waking up. I have never thought that beds and nature have gone together, so it was a really nice experience.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Max P. ‘16: “My mind was racing on the second night and I realized it is good to have all different emotions, even bad ones. This is because there is so much to learn from how I feel and it can really help me expand my mindset and explore how I want to approach challenges.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Kelby ‘16: “I spent most of my time reading. As things got later and later and darker and darker I could no longer read because I did not have my headlamp. On the last night I remembered that my watch has a backlighting function, which I used for an hour of reading until my finger tired of pressing the button.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Meredith ‘17: “I remembered how much I miss my home, my family, and my dog. This whole experience made me appreciate my family and when I get home I am going to start a garden and spend a lot of time with my family because I miss them.”

Proctor Academy Mountain Classroom

Lucien Wiener ‘17: “I now know that the best way for me recharge my batteries is to take a few days in the woods by myself.“ 

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