Friday, September 18, 2015

All campers home safe!

Just heard from campers!

Yeah!  They are 3 miles outside of Laramie.  Estimated time of arrival  3:30.  They are all safe.  Construction outside of Laramie.  :(  Just south of Ft. Collins at 2:15.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

It is a stunner of an afternoon!

The boys had a great time at Jenkins Pond even though it was raining.  A few fish were caught and we hope to have them for dinner tonight.  The sky is clearing and the girls were hiking back from Jenkins Pond.  They are headed back to start cooking spaghetti.  They are having a wonderful time.

As they were walking they described a beautiful scene.  The hay fields leading to the mountains are glistening, the shadows on the mountains from the passing clouds are glorious and the trees are starting to turn gold.  It is stunning!   (I hope they took a picture.)

What an awesome group of students!

Next blog will be an estimated time of arrival.  

7th grade update!

The campers are very happy and just finished a wonderful breakfast.  Last night there was a campfire with many stars and plenty of laughter and games in the barn.    The boys are currently at the pond catching tonight's supper (maybe) and hiking.  The girls are working on an art project and teacher rotations.  This afternoon they will switch, maybe the girls will catch tonight's dinner.  Lunch will be served with grilled cheese and warm soup, fruit and cookies.  What a fabulous group of students!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

7th grade update!

I was greeted with a loud cheer from the 7th grade girls - "Hello, Mrs. Siennicki!"  They have already prepared their chants for this evenings activities and are all settled in.  Mrs. Ashley did say the wind is blowing,  but it is warm.  Next update is tomorrow morning.  They sound wonderful and are in great spirits!

Transition went very smoothly!

The 6th graders are on the way home and the 7th graders are settling in to their new "home sweet home."

Rumor has it that they will arrive before dismissal time.  I am awaiting a call from Ft. Collins so we have a better gauge.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What an absolutely beautiful day!

Blue Sky with Fluffy, Floating White Clouds!

Everyone is doing great!  This afternoon the boys took the tour of the ranch and the girls went to Jenkins pond.   Mrs. Ashley reported, "We have more that a few  Jenkins Polar Bears."

Time to go cook spaghetti and get ready for this evenings activities.  See you tomorrow!

6th grade campers having a great time!

Yesterday they had a fantastic afternoon.  After a delicious lunch they rotated into different activities with their teachers.   Dinnertime came and they were served wonderful hamburgers/veggy burgers, salad and then unto evening activities.  The evening activities included -  fire, stories, Pictionary and a fun game in the barn loft. As they were getting ready for bed, it started to rain lightly.  The rain drizzled for about an hour to lull our campers to sleep.

Up early this morning with breakfast of sausage, oatmeal, hot chocolate, hot cider and more.  The sky is blue with clouds streaming through the sky with a few sprinkles.  The boys are on their way to Jenkins Pond to catch fish for dinner and the girls are taking a ranch tour and working on an art project.   The cooks are preparing lunch of grilled cheese and soup.

The air is fresh and clean and a good time is being had by all!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Campers have arrived!

Hello from Diamond Tail!    Message at 12:10pm

 The campers have safely arrived and are in their tent groups setting in to their "home sweet home" for the next couple of nights.   They are a fabulous group with lots of smiles and laughter and are excited for the adventure to begin.

Eating lunch is next on the agenda. After they have eaten, students will break into teacher led groups for the team building activities. The weather is beautiful and there will be a fire and more activities after supper.

Thank you for all the snacks that were sent to Diamond Tail.  They will not go hungry!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sixth Grade Students - Thursday Late-Start

Hello Parents and Students of the Sixth Grade:

Classes will begin at 9:05 a.m. on Thursday, September 17. Students who arrive at the regular time for a 7:55 a.m. start. will be monitored by a sixth-grade teacher. We understand that with working parents and other children going to other schools, some students will need to arrive at the regular time. For those who are able to catch a few more winks of sleep on Thursday, please take advantage of the opportunity.

Mrs. Ashley and the Seventh Grade Team of Teachers


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sixth Grade Departure and Return; Menu; Medications; Special Dietary Needs


Hello Students and Parents:

Sixth grade students will depart bright and early on Monday, September 14. Please arrive in the Bishop Evan Sports Center parking lot (north lot) at 6:30 a.m. 

Sixth grade students will return Wednesday afternoon approximately around 3:00-3:30 p.m. Bookmark the blog on your devices for updates on return time. Teachers will be calling the MS office from the coaches to set a firm time of return based on traffic. 

Because there is no phone service at our campsite, we will use a satellite phone to call in to the MS office once each day. Our student travel blogs are usually filled with photos and updates. We cannot provide that for Diamond Tail. We can provide you with some peace of mind with the daily report. 

For students who take daily medications, please give those medications in a ziplock bag to Mr. Rogers before your student boards the bus. Include very clear directions for administration of the medications and mark the ziplock bag in bold letters with your child's name. 

For students with special dietary needs, please pack meals and snacks for your child. There is no microwave or oven available. Please send stovetop and grill-able foods. 

Here is the menu: 


Menu for Diamond Tail  2015

Snacks: We provide fruit roll-ups, rice crispy treats, and granola bars and cracker snacks purchased at Sam's Club that may have been processed in the same environment as nut snacks. Some of the granola bars include nuts.

Lunch 1: choice of ham, turkey, cheese or pb&j sandwiches (separate table), chips, fruit and cookies
Dinner 1: beef burgers with chips, salad, cookies
Breakfast 1: instant oatmeal, bacon, fruit, breakfast bars, hot chocolate, warm apple juice
Lunch 2: grilled-cheese sandwiches, soup, fruit and cookies
Dinner 2: Spaghetti with meatless or meaty red sauce or just butter; powdered cheese and french bread; salad
Breakfast 2: instant oatmeal, sausage patties, pancakes, hot chocolate, warm apple juice

Students really enjoy the meals!






Sunday, August 30, 2015

Packing List for Diamond Tail

Diamond Tail Packing List

Snacks:
o    Please, know that you are not being asked to bring snacks this year. Some students with gluten intolerance or nut allergies are encourage to bring snacks and fill your packs each day at the cabin with your specific snacks. If a parent would like to contribute snacks for sharing in the snack bins, please do not contribute candy or chocolate snacks. Chips, granola bars and fruit snacks are appreciated. 

Supplies:
o   Small Day Pack (just large enough to carry two water containers, sunscreen, hat, rain poncho or gear, light jacket, journal, pen/pencil, and extra socks)
o   2 Water Containers with your name or a personal charm attached to identify that the bottles are yours (essential)
o   Sleeping Bag
o   Sleeping Pad/Cushion (very important for warmth and comfort)
o   Pillow or soft jacket to serve as a pillow
o   Disposable Toilette Wipes (no showers/tub available; teeth brushed outside away from your tent with water from your water bottle)
o   Plastic zip-lock bag with SMALL 3 oz. containers of: deodorant, bug repellant, non-electric toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm (affix name on bag in permanent marker). DO NOT spray any type of deodorant, sunscreen, or bug spray while inside your tent. Toiletries attract wildlife and should be zipped tight inside a zip-lock bag inside of the tent and applied outside of your tent.
o   Sun Screen LOTION and NOT SPRAY (I know, I’m yelling. Sorry. I need your attention to this.)
o   Lip balm
o   Hairbrush
o   Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
o   Personal Flotation Device/ Water Life Vest (optional; must have to wade or boat)
o   Journal and several pens/pencils
o   1 or 2 Bandanas (optional)
o   Towel and swim suit if wading into Jenkin’s Pond with a PFD

Clothes:
o   4 Long-sleeve shirts (fast-drying material is best)
NO SLEEVELESS OR TANK TOPS are allowed nor are practical.
o   3 Pairs of long pants (fast-drying material is best since jeans/sweats would not dry)
o   NO SHORTS (unless at or below the knees) are allowed, nor are they practical
o   1 Stocking Cap for morning and evening chill
o   1 Sun cap or visor
o   1 Pair of gloves for morning and evening chill
o   Rain Jacket/Pants or Sturdy Poncho (very important)
o   1 medium-weight Fleece or Jacket (very important)
o   1 Pair sturdy shoes
o   1 Pair camp shoes – NO OPEN TOES due to the rough terrain (rocks/holes/tall grass)
o   1 Extra pair of shoes to keep in reserve to replace wet shoes
o   1 Pair of old shoes for wading
o   6 Pairs of socks
o   4 Sets of underwear
o   1 Warm sleeping top & bottom (winter weight sweat pants and top are recommended)

Optional and Fun to Bring:
o   Cards, Board Games, Soccer Ball, Football, Frisbee, Reading Material, Ladder Ball, Fishing Gear

Not Allowed
o   This is an unplugged experience. Do not bring electronic gadgets of any kind, such as I-pods, cell phones or cameras. There is no cell phone service and only limited electrical service. Expensive electronics are vulnerable to being lost or damaged.
o   Hair Dryer or electric toothbrush – there is no opportunity to use one
o   Make-up (unnecessary and no opportunity to apply it)
o   Personal stashes of candy or food items of any sort in the tents (due to wildlife being attracted)
o   Shorts or sleeveless tops (impractical in the environment)



A daily report will be called into a blog to update friends and parents of the group’s well being.

SMA Overview of Diamond Tail Experience

ST. MARY’S ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL
AT DIAMOND TAIL RANCH

CHALLENGING YOURSELF, EXPERIENCING COWBOY CULTURE, FORGING NEW FRIENDSHIPS, GETTING TO KNOW YOUR TEACHERS,
PRACTICING COURAGE, VIEWING BUFFALO UP CLOSE AND FAR AWAY, STARTING FRESH, SETTING GOALS, REFLECTING, LIVING IN TENTS, BECOMING A JENKINS POND POLAR BEAR, LAUGHING

Due to the wonderful generosity of the Duncan family, we will be returning to the beautiful Diamond Tail Ranch for the eighth year for a two-night camping trip. The Diamond Tail Ranch, a working ranch, is in northern Colorado near the Wyoming border and approximately 45 miles from Laramie. The Duncans maintain a large herd of buffalo and smaller herds of cattle as well as processing organic buffaloam for gardens. At an altitude of 8100 ft. and made up of approximately 18,000 acres of hay meadows and forested foothills on the edge of the Rawah Wilderness, the vast beauty is extraordinary.

Two tent sites will be headquartered near a fully restored 1900-era barn. There is a rustic cabin with a deck where we meet for meals, and a restored schoolhouse that is now a small chapel above the campsite. Port-a-toilets (temporary bathrooms) are available for student use. Water from water bottles is used to brush teeth and packaged toilettes are needed for face and body cleaning. Solar energy powers lights in the evening and fuels cooking. Together, we will play games, hike, fish, sing, reflect and build community to support the school year. We may even enjoy a guest appearance from Mike Duncan, and if the working cowboys are able to take some time off, we will have a ranch tour.

BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS, please take care of the following:

1)    Verify that your parents/guardians have signed and returned the general SMA-activity permission to travel form;
2)    Verify that your 2015 emergency release form is completed and filed in the office with any allergies and special needs carefully noted. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AND ESSENTIAL PAPERWORK FOR THE TRIP, which if not completed and filed would mean you would miss the trip and we would miss you very much.
3)    Carefully check the packing list, enclosed here and to be posted on IC, and borrow what you don’t have.

The sixth-grade class will leave school at 7:00 a.m. (meet by 6:30 a.m.) on Monday, September 14th and return to school on Wednesday, September 16th at ~3:00 p.m.


The seventh-grade class will leave school at 7:00 a.m. (meet by 6:30 a.m.) on Wednesday, September 16th and return to school on Friday, September 18th at ~4:00 p.m.