By Cassie Bingham, Communications Specialist
Last week, fourth grade had the amazing opportunity to visit one of Utah's national treasures - Timpanogos Cave! It was a day full of hard work, adventure, and learning. A large proportion of the kids said they had never gone on a hike in the mountains, and even more had never been inside a cave, so this activity was something new and exciting.
The kids started out with a ton of energy, but soon realized that hiking up multiple switchbacks for a mile and half can prove difficult for almost anyone. However, they encouraged each other, and were motivated by the accompanying Guadalupe staff and awesome parent volunteers who came along, and eventually each and every student made it to the top and were able to explore the cave. They loved listening to the park ranger tour guides, who not only shared scientific facts about cave formations, but also the history of the cave's discovery, and the old Native American legends associated with the cave.
On the way back down I asked a fourth grader named Xavier what he thought about the hike. He answered that "It was really fun, and tiring!" When I asked how he had felt when he made it to the cave after the long hike he replied, "Very good about myself, that I did it."
Fourth grade teacher Mr. Mulder was extremely proud of his students. He related the difficult hike and beautiful reward at the top to life in general. Before loading everyone up to head back to school, he gathered the kids around and explained, "Fourth grade is a lot of work, and I think you can all agree that going up that hill was a lot of work. Now the cool part about this is, a lot of you have never been here before, and you didn't know what to expect at the top of that hill. Someone asked me, 'Do stalagmites and stalactites form outside of caves?' No they don't. You had to go all the way up to that cave to be able to see something you would not see otherwise. It's the same thing as fourth grade. You would not know the sorts of things that you will learn this year unless you do it! You have to do it. Did anyone get dragged up there? No. Did anyone get magically flown up there? No. It took hard work. There was some team work as well. Life is this way, the harder you work at it, the better things are for you."
We are so happy to see our fourth graders thriving as they discover and learn more each day. Our Guadalupe teachers are helping their students not only learn the academic skills they need to pass tests, but the life skills they need to become happy and successful people. Check out some of the fun photos from the trip, below!