KMAC stands for Kent Mountain Adventure Center. We are a company that specializes in working with children. KMAC is also a place. Our base-camp is in Estes Park surrounded by majestic views of beauty. KMAC is also a place in the hearts of many who have discovered joy and excitement under our tutelage.
The Cherry Hills Village Elementary School backpack trip (we like to call it a course) takes place early in the school year. The KMAC experience is optional. Those students that do not wish to go on the backpack get to participate in “Survival in the City”, an experience that visits many of the unique offerings the city of Denver has to offer.
The backpack course takes place in Roosevelt National Forest near the town of Estes Park, CO, about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from school. Students are transported by bus to the trail-head.
The backpacking course is a “mini” expedition of 4 days. Students learn the fundamentals of hiking, camping, and backpacking. They hike and camp in groups of 10 -12 boys and girls in each group with two or three KMAC and adult leaders in each group. Each patrol functions and camps separately. Students learn how to pack their backpack and read a topographical map. They carry their own backpacks into camp. (KMAC provides most participants equipment). It can be challenging. Pack weights range from 20 to 25lbs. We take breaks often, but it takes most of the afternoon to reach the campsites. The weather is usually very pleasant in late August, but it can rain, and evenings can get chilly.
Students learn how to prepare a camp meal cooking in teams of two or three. They will learn how to do dishes using strict Leave No Trace protocols. They will learn how to set up their tents that they share with 3 or 4 friends of their choosing. They get to try rock climbing, and learn how to lead their patrol using newly acquired skills.
Every day students will record observations that they make in their journals about the natural world that surrounds them. They get to have fun and work on a skit that they can share or perform in their group.
Even with its challenges, this “mini” expedition is just that; a group and personal expedition that is a rewarding experience where 5th graders can experience a genuine backpacking adventure.
2016 Trip Dates: August 15 through 18.
There will be an information meeting for parents and students in the Latronico Center on Monday May 16 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm.
Parents can enroll their son or daughter, turn in paperwork, and speak with a KMAC guide at school on Tuesday August 9 from 9am – 3pm. Kelly Kirby and Sarah Stanford will be attending the course.