Throughout the year, Hyde offers students the opportunity to spend three weeks on our Eustis, Maine property in the Black Wilderness Preserve. Course instructor Jennifer Grilly writes about their first trip of the year:
Upon arrival up at the lodge, we spent a day and a half prepping for our first expedition. We hiked 22.1 miles on the Appalachian Trail south of Rt. 27. This was a new tripping area, so it was great to scout some new sites for potential use moving forward in the program.
We hiked four 4000’ers over the course of four days and were able to check out the burn scars on top of Mt. Abraham from the recent wildfires. We hit a bubble of AT hikers trying to make it to Katahdin before October 1st, and it was Labor Day weekend, so trails were pretty busy.
We returned to the lodge for the week to focus on academics and a service project. Students are helping us to transform our wall on the ropes course into a rock climbing and bouldering wall.
We then began to prep for the second expedition of the program.
We spent 3 days in Grafton Notch State Park hiking with some glorious summits and great weather.
We got caught on top of a summit when a quick moving thunderstorm rolled in and forced us into lightning drill until it passed.
We spent the days hiking, reflecting, journaling, and learning soft skills. Some soft skill lessons we taught were about effective communication, leadership styles, conflict resolution, and analytical decision making. We then returned to the lodge for a couple of days to continue to focus on academics and service projects.
For our final expedition, we spent four days paddling on Flagstaff Lake. We had beautiful weather and the wind at our backs, so our paddling time was short, which left us with lots of time for solo reflection, journaling, and fishing. We spent a lot of time discussing how students can finish the program strong and what they need to do to return to campus with support systems and plans in place to help them be set up for success.