Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom program enters its 52nd year of continuous operation as ten students and two instructors travel the American southwest. Following a two-week Winter Break, students reconvened in New Mexico and explored the Santa Elena Canyon and embarked on their first river trip of the term. Read Calvin '23 and Boo's '24 blog post below!
The Mountain Classroom Guidebook: Boo '24 and Calvin '23
And now… Boo and Calvin (in desperate attempts to stay relevant in the Proctor community) answer some burning questions y’all have about Mountain Classroom.
Boo: So Calvin, the people want to know what are our top meals they should recreate at home?
Calvin: Queen, they have the whole kitchen at their finger tips - not us though, we struggle putting together our minimalistic set up. Get used to canned tuna and chicken if you’re thinking of coming on mountain.
Calvin: Sorry, but for real my Chicken Noodle Soup tears the [beeping] house down.
Boo: Couldn’t agree more. I’ll follow that up with a Mountain Classroom tradition called Chaos Cards. Students are given a deck of cards with randomized tasks that add some flavor to our days. After an expedition they were in our favor when we pulled, “instructor breakfast,” the next morning we woke up to Jeff’s deep fried Louisiana donuts and Janean’s crispy bacon.
Calvin: Too bad we only get to use that card once, but thank goodness we have the world renowned Michelin Chef Emma Pine. From complex omelette stations to Pad Thai.
Boo: Oh and her Poke bowls!
Calvin: Her cooking is bomb.
Boo: Last I’ll say the classic Backcountry Chili.
Calvin: We are forbidden from ever making it again due to the burnt chili incident that scarred us.
Boo: Nice while it lasted. (*Has vivid and upsetting flashbacks.*) Moving on so I never have to think about that again…Next question! Calvin what should our subscribers add to their bucket lists?
Calvin: As we just departed the Santa Elena canyon as part of our expedition, it’s safe to say venturing through the vastness of the Rio Grande waterway is a must.
Boo: If you’re looking for a wholesome Big Bend activity, head on down to the Cottonwood Campgrounds. There you can circle up for a candle lit, interactive, wildlife info-session under the stars.
Calvin: Never be on a team with Boo for a game of Who Am I? Big Bend Wildlife Edition!
Boo: Yeeeaaaaah… not my forte LOL… Buuuuut did you know that Javelinas are a member of the hippo family?
Calvin: You sure as heck didn’t!
Boo: Moving on...What does a Mountain Classroom class look like?
Calvin: There’s never a boring class day with Jeffrey. His enthusiasm is contagious.
Boo: Remember THE field day.
Calvin: Picture this… you’re in a Proctor bus and next to you is your day pack with only a notebook, pencil and water bottle inside.
Boo: SOOOO off the grid ;) no MacBook or Apple Pencil!
Calvin: We reach our first of many stops and take in the views of the Boquillas Canyon, while discussing the topography of the massive landscape.
Boo: Through visuals and hands on learning, Jeff’s geological curriculum makes for the perfect class.
Calvin: Whether in front country or back country, canoeing or backpacking, or cozied up around a campfire, Janean and Jeffrey have us on the edge of our crazy creeks.
Boo: Okay Calvin, let's give the people a general vibe of Mountain Classroom using three words. I’ll start: Energizing; Thrilling; Stunning
Calvin: My turn: Wholesome; Adventurous; UNSHOWERED
Boo: Wait. I totally forgot. Should we introduce them to her?
Boo: Okay… so we have this cute friend-
Calvin: WHO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT QUEEN??? Ohhhh… Deb THE BUS! The one and only Deb brings us from FL to NV! With the 100,408 miles on her she drives smoother than a wagon.
Boo: She’s host to sing-alongs and late night talks.
Calvin: If Deb could talk she’d have too much to say, especially after her eight Proctor years.
Boo: As our blog post hits its word limit let's wrap this sucker up by sharing our best moments so far of Mountain Classroom.
Calvin: After a few hours of journaling and rest, we slapped our life jackets on and rode the roaring rapids right near our campsite. Although the water was ice cold, we all bravely joined in.
Boo: While I love every bus ride, my favorite moment was when we waved goodbye to San Antonio city and traded it for mountain views and a beautiful sunset. The night was perfectly topped off with a warm shower.
As the Chaos Card today is ultimate frisbee, Boo and Calvin must run off and prepare for a high stakes game. Hope you enjoyed the Guidebook to Mountain Classroom.