Bedazzled karaoke microphone, glow sticks, and John Denver

Emerald Connection: September 19th, 2023

By: Doug Davis

The scene was reminiscent of a John Denver song as the 8th-grade class jovially sang tunes, basking in the soft light of fall alpenglow, with the Colorado high country as the backdrop. An annual tradition, the 8th-grade fall trip is a special opportunity for the class to take to the field, bond, share adventures, and set the tone for their collective 8th-grade years. With unfavorable weather looming and the threat of canceling this much-anticipated trip, our own Director of Outdoor Programming, Michael Lackey, made a quick pivot to change locations from the Flattops Wilderness to the Broome Hut on Berthoud Pass. Part of the 10th Mountain Division Association, the Broome Hut offers superb high alpine scenery outside of Fraser, Colorado, at 11,350 feet on Berthoud Pass.

And that was the backstory that brought together the 8th graders and Colorado’s jagged peaks. Add in one special birthday celebration, a bag of glow sticks, a smuggled-in and bedazzled Karaoke microphone, and you had the setting for their special rendition of “Colorado Rocky Mountain High.”

8th-grader Mitchell McLarney said, “I thought the Rocky Mountains would be a whole lot rockier. That John Denver was full of baloney.” But then he realized he was just quoting a past Halloween costume. “Actually, it looked just like a John Denver album. And that hut, way more of a house.”

The good vibes continued as the trip culminated with the whole class enjoying lunch, games, and bonding at the Mountain Campus.

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