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Montezuma-Cortez Native American Student Services to host camping and rafting trips

Participating students will have the opportunity to raft and camp along the San Juan River. (Journal file photo)
Students will have the opportunity to do various hands-on activities

Throughout the summer, Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1’s Native American Student Services will host a trio of five-day camping and rafting trips for students age 11 through 18.

Registration is already full.

Olivia Lansing, Director of Native American Student Services, told The Journal that students will be camping and rafting along the San Juan River near Bluff, Utah.

Students who sign up with the first group will go rafting June 29-July 3. The second group’s turn will be July 20-24, and the last group’s turn will be July 30-Aug. 3.

The five-day and four-night excursion will start in Mancos. Students who participate will “help with daily chores, take and set up campsite, help cook meals and learn the geology, history and culture of Southeastern Utah,” according to Lansing.

Lansing said that she hopes students will be able to reconnect with nature while enjoying unplugged time outdoors with their peers and mentors.

“Hands-on activities that get students outside away from TV, phones and video games, to have the opportunity to see geological features from a point of view on a raft boat, rather than an RV, truck or car. Most tourists won't get to see Comb Ridge and Mexican Hat from this perspective,” she said.

Questions regarding the trips can be directed to Olivia Clah at 970-238-9657. She will take phone calls after 5 p.m., through July 21.

According to Lansing, the district’s Native American Student Services advocate for indigenous students from kindergarten all the way through high school.

“We collaborate with the Ute Mountain Ute community, Colorado Department of Education and the 25 tribal nations that are represented in our school district,” Lansing said.

There is also a Native Parents Advisory Committee that meets each month to “help make modifications in their children’s education.”

This year, the Native American Student Services has put forth multiple activities, including the Navajo Highways Puppet Show and Colorado State University’s Little Shop of Physics.

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