Why do we hike uphill on Fridays? Many reasons, really. For starters, we live in the mountains, and want to expose our students the outdoors. Their senses are alive, they experience physical fitness, they get to feel the seasons, and it builds an understanding of where we live. Additionally, we want kids to know how to take care of themselves in the mountains. Before heading uphill, we talk about personal care and safety. These uphill days are practice for our outdoor ed trip (details still tba based on snow). We want kids to know why it is important to wear layers, avoid cotton, drink water, eat well, stick with a partner, and pace themselves. We don’t want kids making mistakes in the wilderness, so better to practice in a contained environment. Also, the social dynamic on the climb is amazing. Today we observed kids encouraging each other, setting small goals with each other, and patiently waiting so that nobody is left behind. And we saw quite a bit of laughter, too! And finally, there are many life metaphors that are experienced on an uphill hike. Setting small goals, pacing yourself, working through discomfort, supporting one another, enjoying the view every once in a while, and of course the feeling of success when the view of Pyramid Peak awaits at the top. Today was a great day. Every kid I spoke with seemed to enjoy the uphill, and that is pretty rare among kids. I think it’s safe to say that our mountain kids are determined, resilient, and fun-loving people, and a good day climbing uphill helps to build this kind of character.