If you have not seen the sand dunes, they are not to be missed

It has been two weeks since I have written a blog post.  I have to admit, that when I was hiking last week with David, I had wanted to whip out a computer at many points and write some of my thoughts.  But of course, we were in the back country and even though we did camp near our car each night, we did not have electricity and certainly no computer.  In short the trip was amazing. We spent four days traveling the area and doing day hikes on parts of the trails that next year the chalutzim will do as part of much longer excursions.  It is some pretty amazing scenery out there.  For sure the highlight of the trip was going to the Sand Dunes in the Sand Dune National monument.

A shot from the sand dunes

A shot from the sand dunes

There, in the middle of the Sangre d’Cristo Mountains are these unbelievable dunes!!!  We took off our shoes and climbed up them.  They are 800 feet tall and very hard to climb.  Not because they require such skill, but because for every one step up you take, you slide two feet down.  With some of the dunes (made up of softer sand) I actually started playing a game with myself where I would run for 30 seconds and then collapse for a minute, catch my breath and try it again.  Coming down was much easier. It took us about an hour to climb up and about seven minutes to get down.  This is going to be a must for next year.  I am think now that we will send the10th graders for a five day trip in this part of the state.  It takes about 4 hours to get there from camp, so it is not good for an overnight.  But the sand dunes surrounded by the towering mountains are a site NOT to be missed!  Check out the photos online at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=118305&id=542322446&saved#/album.php?aid=118305&id=542322446

Sand dunes in the backround

Sand dunes in the backround

While I would have loved to stay on the trail for longer, the reality is that we need to get ready to register the campers.  I have already had a number of inquiries which is pretty exciting, but will not be ready to register anyone until about two weeks from now.  I spent the better part of this week dealing with logistical issues around registration and working with the software folks to get everything up and running.  I am hoping by Monday or Tuesday we will be able to do a soft launch.

And perhaps the most exciting thing of the week is that Douglas Wolf has joined our team fulltime as assistant director.  Douglas, a local Denverite has been serving on our advisory committee.  Although his background is in urban planning, he wanted a (major) change of paths.  It was a pretty exciting week (and nerve racking)  this week as Natalie and I finished our first round and conducted second round interviews.  While I am super excited that Douglas is joining the team, I was sad that I did not have room in the off season for some of the other amazing people I met/ got to know better during this process.  It makes me very happy to know, however, that there are so many passionate educators out there who are excited about helping to make this camp a success.  I just hope that those who were not hired fulltime will still help out the organization fulfill its mission and help in whatever way to ensure that this camp is a resounding success!

My hope is that this is the last blog on this older site, and that when I next write it is on the new (and improved) one.

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