|CHS Course Testimonials|
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Some comments from last year's course participants..."In the past, I would often plan backpacking trips to destinations that were 14 miles or more round-trip, assuming that the mileage was more than I'd want to do in a day. This class taught me that I could comfortably do such distances (and longer) within a single day, enjoying a good full day outdoors and then getting to sleep in my own bed (or comfortable car camp) at night. It definitely opened my eyes to the joys of traveling longer distances, fast and light!"
--L.K. "My feedback for the course is that the people truly made this an amazing experience. The first couple of months I usually met new people on each hike but by the time July, August and September rolled around it was so fun to show up at the Park and Ride in the morning because I was meeting up with people that I knew and enjoyed hiking with. On Vivian and Tom's graduation hike, the rest of the group took a wrong turn driving to the trailhead so they ended up hiking pretty much on their own that day. We went out for a celebratory dinner a little while later and we both agreed that while the hikes were amazing (and I really did some awesome ones!) it was the people that made the class so fun. Talking to people on the trail and hearing about them and just sharing the day with them was great. Even if the day was going to be long and hard, we definitely had a 'we're in this together' attitude. I never would have tried the Enchantments without this class but I made it and I actually had fun that day."
"The best thing I learned from CHS is that once you think you have reached the most beautiful and spectacular place nature has to offer, you always seem to top it on your next hike. Our theme for CHS could have been from the title of the book by Dr. Seuss 'Oh, The Places You'll Go!'"
"There are so many things I learned through CHS. It was one of the best summers I've had in a long time, thanks to you, and the volunteers that made this such a great course.
I'm in awe of the planning and organizing required to carry this kind of an effort off with such success. You kept us motivated and moving forward to the next challenge with your regular posts and personal emails. The leaders chose wonderful hikes and took such care to keep us informed about what to expect in advance. The groups 'played' so well together, because of this careful attention to communication and detail. I think the requirement to do two hikes a month is such a good idea. We are sharing that requirement and commitment together, which in turn, helps us succeed individually.
If choosing a practical hiking lesson, the best thing I learned was...that I need to be a better map reader. Map reading is a skill that can be critical in hiking ....and driving! One time, we took a wrong turn on the way out of the park, and got turned around on forest service roads. Thanks to a wonderful driver (and trail map reader!!), we got back on track and saved a lot of time after a long day of hiking."
"If I am working so hard to keep up that I have to choose between breathing or drinking water, then really what I need to do is slow down to my own pace so that I can comfortably breath AND drink water too, even if that means the humiliation of being the last one in the group.
I can't rely on the hike leader to be perfect and all-knowing. They are trying to balance a lot of sometimes conflicting needs for the group and don't always know what's going on with everyone and they sometimes even make poor decisions. I have to pay attention myself and be willing to speak up or back up other hikers who speak up if I agree, while respecting the leader who has a hard job. Complaining or second guessing behind the leader's back is the wrong choice."