If you can, think back to the first time you spent the night at a 10th Mountain Division Hut. If you were anything like me, you were incredibly excited! Remember that special awe you had overlooking the amazing landscaping? Through the Summer Science Camps at Walking Mountains Science Center, we have the joy of taking campers to local huts for two to three-night overnights. Each trip is an opportunity to relive that first hut experience and see the transformative experience a hut trip can provide.
A hut trip is so much more than a fun summer experience. For many of our campers, this is one of their first experiences away from home. Campers gain independence in a safe and nurturing environment. They participate in hut chores, helping to build responsibility and group camaraderie. Common chores include preparing food, cooking meals, stocking wood, sweeping, and more! It is always impressive to see how willing children are to participate in these tasks and the pride they take in contributing to the group’s well-being.
Another valuable aspect of hut life is the step away from technology. Allowing children to spend several days in Colorado’s magnificent backcountry is only made sweeter knowing that this is accomplished without iPads, TVs, or cell-phones. Campers spend their days and nights engaging with their peers as they explore the great outdoors. Allowing children to relearn these forgotten skills is something we don’t take for granted, and it’s immensely gratifying to see them learning to find enjoyment in the moment, a skill we all can work on.
Each and every hut trip is a new and exciting adventure, offering new experiences and opportunities for growth. At Walking Mountains, we are grateful for the chance to get kids outside and exploring with the help of the 10th Mountain Division Hut system. Happy Trails!
Rachel Zacher is the Summer Programs Coordinator at Walking Mountains Science Center. In her free time she loves playing with puppies, building quinzees, and cooking squash. She hopes you will join her in rescuing summer from the indoors!