Last week, the Boys & Girls Club of Tucson and Parks in Focus partnered for the first of two summer immersion trips in northern Arizona. Participants and staff spent the week of June 4-8 at Cave Springs Campground in Oak Creek Canyon (near Sedona) and visited nearby national parks and cultural sites.
On Monday, the kids arrived, set up tents, and signed camp contracts that outlined expectations we had for each other and the trip. After a homemade taco dinner, we snapped some sunset shots on Airport Mesa. On Tuesday morning, we traveled to Dead Horse Ranch State Park for some team-building exercises, a photography lesson, and recreational time in the Verde River. Some kids discovered a broken tree branch sticking out of the water that with some floral TLC and imagination was transformed into a “riverhorse” named “Jennifer”. After a quick lunch, the participants went to Tuzigoot National Monument where a Park Ranger gave an oral history on the local ancient Sinaguan culture. The following day, the group soaked up the explosive geologic history of Sunset Crater National Monument during an interpretive hike. Later, Park Ranger Steve shared some similar, but different Sinaguan history at Walnut Canyon National Monument. The Park Rangers event awarded kids with postcards for asking exceptional questions after their hike on the Island Trail.
Parks in Focus and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson would like to thank the Western National Parks Association for making our visits to Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon, and Tuzigoot National Monuments possible. Summit Hut helped us to purchase needed supplies such as maps that helped us navigate the area. A big thank you also goes out to Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) of Tucson who provided the sleeping bags, tents, and portable stoves which were vital to the success of the trip. DayMen US Inc. was also invaluable in providing Lowepro camera cases and Joby Gorilla Pods. Without you all this trip truly would not be the success it was!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the first Arizona Summer Immersion Trip!