Outdoors Blog

A ‘traitorous mountain of sand,’ and other tales from the ‘best field trip ever’

Climbing the sandy hills at Bruneau Dunes State Park was a point of pride for Notus Elementary students, who described the challenge and motivation of the hikes in their writings after the camping trip.
Climbing the sandy hills at Bruneau Dunes State Park was a point of pride for Notus Elementary students, who described the challenge and motivation of the hikes in their writings after the camping trip. Courtesy of Notus Elementary

Notus High sixth-graders take an annual camping trip to Bruneau Dunes State Park late in the school year, then write about the experience.

Last year, teacher Yvonne Golden asked me to print their writings about the popular state park east of Boise. We did — and the post proved popular with readers.

So this year, I met with the students before their trip to teach them a bit about news gathering and writing. We had a great time — and one of the kids even invited me to join their camping trip (I had a schedule conflict or I would have).

Here is what the kids wrote about this year’s trip. For the most part, I’ve left the writing unedited. Enjoy.

Hard Work Pays Off

Climbing up the big dune was tremendously difficult. Step after step, my legs quivered as I forced myself to keep on going. I kept telling myself, “Just keep going, you’re almost there!” After my legs could not tackle the steep, sandy hills, I reached down to the cold sand and started to crawl my way up the large dune. Even though I was terrified of climbing higher and higher on the towering dune, every few minutes that passed by, I just had to look down at the beautiful scenery. I crawled and crawled, and crawled some more and finally, I reached the very top of what seemed like Mount Everest. As soon as I got to the top of the massive dune, I sat on the frigid sand and waited for the air to find my lungs again. Even though I was unable to stand on my shaky, exhausted legs, it still felt as if I was on top of the world! The universe! I could see everything from up here! The campground seemed so far away from where I was. If you looked hard enough, you could see the parents that stayed at the campground — even though they looked like ants, hard at work, preparing lunch for when we returned from our exciting adventures on the big dune.

After catching my breath and waiting to see who else would achieve victory on climbing all the way up the large dune, everyone that was already up the dune kept encouraging me, “Come to the very top! Come on!” I was very, very frightened, but I decided to try something new and take a chance. I also decided I was not going to stand on my tired, restless feet. Instead, I would crawl my way over to where everyone was directing me.

As soon as I looked over the top of the sandy hill, all I could see was the rest of the class sledding down the hills of sand. Some were at the top sliding down on a plastic, circle board into a large vortex that the wind and sand had formed, and others were sitting on the edge of the hole, spectating from above. I went over and sat next to my friends on the edge, watching as the boys would make a fool of themselves by acting like different animals every time they tumbled down those steep hills into the “bottomless” crater of sand. Looking and studying everyone’s actions and emotions, I could tell that each and every one of us was having an extremely phenomenal time. Not a soul of the class wanted to leave because we were all in agreement that this was the best field trip ever!

Written by Alexis Cudaback

The Big Dunes

I braced myself, took one push off the cliff, and I was flying down the gigantic mountain side. I was turning sideways, when I noticed the ramp lying ahead.

The field trip to Bruneau Sand Dunes was the best field trip, guaranteed, I have ever had. There were lots of fun parts at Bruneau, and I mean lots. But the part that had the most PIZAZZ and sand was the big dune. We emerged from our tents and ate breakfast, and took down a couple tents, but all I was thinking about was that big dune. My legs had a burning desire for the long climb up and the fast runs down, and my mouth was waiting for the taste of the warm dry sand.

Our teachers finally gathered us all together and told us to load up the bus. I walked onto the bus and then my eyes didn’t leave the majestic mountain in the distance. I felt like the dune was getting bigger and bigger by the minute. The bus stopped and the doors flung open with a chhhhh! I was one of the first ones off, and where I stood, frozen, staring upon the God of Sand Dunes. I have to admit that I was kinda scared, that I wasn’t going to make it up, until I saw myself running down the mountain, wind in my hair, and my body flopping lifelessly down the hill.

The journey began. We walked past a couple swimming holes, trees, and lots of sand until we were just inches away from the gigantic sand dune. Tyler and I teamed up and made our own way up the side of the mountain. We had a water bottle to keep us company. We threw it high, and let it make its way back down to us to where we would repeat the action over and over again. We kept going until we were about three-fourths of the way up, and we stopped to take a look at the majestic lake. Man that’s beautiful. We tried variety of ways to get to the top faster, but nothing seemed to work, but we kept going. Finally, we reached the top. I took a glance at what seemed to be little ants climbing their ant hill to reach their home. I thought this was home. I saw people sledding, running, and even tumbling down the hill. I was enjoying the view of the other sand dunes in the distant when, out of nowhere, a sled popped out. I knew what this meant. I stood up, adjusted my hat and glasses, and laid down on the board. I braced myself, took one push off the top, and was flying down the shady hillside. I was turning sideways when I noticed the ramp up ahead.

I took one deep breath, and shut my eyes. The ramp levitated me into the air, and quickly brought me down. SMACK!!! Sand was everywhere and I was tumbling down the mountain. My hat and glasses flew off my head, and I was lying on my stomach. I wasn’t done though. I chased after my sled and quickly got back on. I was gaining momentum until I charged in a group of tumbleweeds. I was done. I struggled to stand when I saw a blurry figure running down to me. It was my friend, Flynt. He picked up my hat that fell off on my wipeout and asked if I was ok. “ I don’t know,” I said with a smile, and we both laughed and started up the mountain to ride the sled down the sand again. During the fun, we all ate fistfulls of sand, but it was worth it — to be able to go with my class to the Bruneau Sand Dunes.

Written by Jacob Geisser

A poop lesson

Ms. Golden isn’t your normal teacher. I guess we can say she has a creative mind, and for sure doesn’t like to keep things boring! I’ve had her this whole year, and I know her characteristics and personality, I know her skills and what she is amazingly good at, for example, teaching writing and art, and helping us choose good literature, and what she can help you with. (For science and math, I know to go to Ms. Cayler.) For what was about to happen, I should have seen this coming, I should have been prepared. But I wasn’t! For some reason, I thought I had a normal teacher; I thought this would be a normal educational class, but it was everything but normal!

It was so scorching hot outside, but it felt so good. My skin began to feel warm and sticky. My group had just finished setting up our tent when we heard, ‘‘All right class, it’s time for our educational outdoor classes, please split into homerooms.’’ My class darted for the picnic table, racing to get a good seat. While passing the time waiting for Ms. Golden, my class had a discussion. We were trying to guess what our educational class was about. Soon, we discovered, we were all way off!

Ms. Golden approached the table with a large bag in her hand. Then I began to fill with childlike wonder. Then, eagerly she slipped a book out of the bag. Then, turned to us and said in a crystal clear voice, ‘‘Okay class, today we are going to learn about POOP.’’ I thought I was hearing her wrong; I must have been hearing her wrong! Then I looked around at my classmates and saw the bewildered looks of confusion, laughter, and giggles on their faces. Then I knew I was hearing Ms. Golden’s voice, clear as day. Thankfully, Ms. Golden didn’t read the whole book. I thought it couldn’t get much worse, but that’s where I was wrong. Ms. Golden slipped out ziplock bags from her bag and without touching whatever was in the bag, she began to shake the bag until; whatever was in the bag fell out onto the paper plate. Then, like she was waiting for our reaction, she placed the paper plate onto the table. I was in shock! I kept thinking, please let that be fake, please! Soon, and thankfully, I discovered that Ms. Golden had placed rubber POOP onto paper plates. Ms. Golden, then handed out flashcards with animal pictures, and asked us to identify the POOP (AKA: Scat) and match the animal with the scat we think it came from. I wanted no part in this activity, so I looked for the nearest paper plate without a flash card and placed my flash card there. I knew my teacher was maybe a little weird, but I never expected this to happen. At least I can go to anyone and tell them you will never have a dull moment in my class!

Written by Destiny Carver

A face full of sand

“Yes!” I yell at the top of the big dune. I had conquered it in no more than ten minutes. I slowly walked around at the top, admiring the land below. “This is awesome.” I say to myself. I finally got the guts to roll down the dune, so I laid down on my side, my friends watching me. “3,2,...1” I braced myself, thinking it will probably hurt. I tip to the side, and start to gain speed quickly. About halfway down, I start to lose control. After reaching the bottom, I am surprised by how soft the sand is. “That was awesome!” I screamed from the bottom. The only downside is that I got a ton of sand in my eyes and ears. When I reached the top, I do this a few more times, then decide to go over to the vortex. There, my friends and I were doing the long jump, animal impressions, and races down the steep dune. Afterward, we took a class picture of everyone forming letters for Notus. I was part of the U. After that we unfortunately had to head back to camp, eat lunch, and leave. But in my opinion, it was the best field trip ever!

Written by Thaine Haynes

Bruneau Dunes

Climbing the dune — it was the hardest part of the trip. I couldn’t do it for much longer, the pain shot through my legs like thousands of needles. The sun did not help much either. It was like taking a flashlight and pointing it directly at your eyes the whole time, while climbing the massive, and steep sand hill.

At the moment the only thing that I could possibly think of was, “am I going to make it up there” I knew I had to make it, but I did not know how I would do it. The only thing that kept me going was thinking about how cool it would be to be the first girl to make it up. I felt so close, yet it looked so far away.

As I kept climbing my way up the dune alone, since nobody would keep up, I heard a voice hollering at me. And of course, it was Keirsten. All she yelled was, “ Karla, wait for me!!!” As I turned around to see how far down she was, I knew that if I waited I would end up all the way down and I would not be able to be the first one.

I did not think I could climb any farther, so I took a small break. After about five minutes, I got back up and started climbing again. By that time, Destiny had almost caught up to me. I wanted to be the first, so I climbed as fast as I could. I made it up! I was so happy until I noticed that I was the second girl up. Makayla was the first one, and I was happy for her too, but now I had to wait for the rest of the girls to come up.

I sat on the sand and thought about how lucky I was to be there with my friends and how amazing this experience was. For that being my first time camping, I think it was great! I had fun, NO service on my phone, and I was with all my friends. As we all tumbled down in the sand and sat together in the vortex, I couldn’t think of a better place to be!

Written by Karla Lara

Bruneau Dunes

“Just one more step,” I kept telling myself, “you have to go just one more step.” I had a desire inside of me to get to the top of the dune and look out at the beautiful scenery. I was almost there, so I looked down and I saw my friends coming up the dune behind me. I was cheering them on, trying to keep them motivated.

Then I looked down to the bottom of the dune and I saw Allison sitting there, not working her way up the dune. I cuffed my hands around my mouth and asked her,“Are you coming up?” she shook her head, “No.” In my mind I asked myself, “Why?” but then I answered my own question knowing that her hip was probably hurting. I knew it would be hard for her, but hoped she would eventually make it up, so I continued moving up.

I finally saw the girls sitting at the top of the dune about five yards above me, so I became more motivated than ever to reach the top. I put one foot after another into the sand, then suddenly, I fell to my knees! My legs were aching so much that I could not force them to stand back up again, so I started to crawl. Up, up, up I went. The next thing I know, I am lying in the sand at the top of the dune — not caring that sand was getting in my hair. It was already everywhere else, so why not let a little more get in my hair. I WAS THERE! I had made it! I looked out from the top at the beautiful landscape right before my eyes.

Next thing I know, I am at the bottom again. I had just hiked up and then I decided to go back down with a couple of my friends. I was almost back at the top when I heard some of my classmates saying,“Come on Allison you can do it,”and she did! I was so happy that she had decided to come up. I knew she could do it. I climbed on up and met her walking across the top of the dune heading toward our teacher. Going to the dunes was the best experience; I hiked the dunes and were with all of my friends at the same time.

Written by Sallie Deines

Running in the dark

It was pitch black.

No light.

Waiting for something to pop up out of the bushes.

Just me and Karla.

Running.

Sprinting.

Racing.

We were wild gazelles being chased by a cheetah running, to go to the showers. If I didn’t hurry, none of the showers would be hot when we got there. While Karla and I were going through the first camp heading toward ours, everyone who was ahead of us were already at their tents, grabbing their bags and rushing to the showers.

“I think it is this way,” Karla said, and went in another direction — we had no flashlights, to light our way through the darkness. There we were, again, trying to find our way to the campsite. By now everyone that was behind us, were just getting to the campground and starting to find their own way to their tents. We found a tent that looked like ours, but it was yet to be determined. Unfortunately, we saw that it wasn’t ours and we ran away. When we ran we found the showers, the bathrooms, and Abby — who told us where the tents were disguised. Karla and I ran for our lives in the dark; the dark felt like a black hole swallowing me whole. We made it to the tents, and sprinted to the showers. At last, we made it, taking short breaths, in and out in and out.

Written by Emmaleigh Wright

Hiking on an artificial hip

The best field trip ever!!

I did it! I can’t believe I did it! I am so proud of myself!

It was morning and I had just eaten a breakfast burrito and drank hot cocoa. I was ready to hit the dunes! I put on some sunscreen and bug spray. We loaded up the bus and drove to the trail, when we got out we saw a HUGE lake!! “This is the lake we will swim in after the hike!”- Ms. Golden ( My teacher) said. Everyone grabbed a water bottle and started on the trail.

It was a long trail, going up, down, and all around. On the trail there were so many pretty views and at one spot the trees curve over the trail and made a cute little tunnel! It was beautiful!!

We got to the beginning of the big sand dune. It was huge! I made it to the first little hill and my hip started hurting and I was really tired.

Not even a year ago, when I was eleven, I had a hip replacement. So doing things like that can hurt! I finally said to myself “ I can do this!” So I got up and started walking again! And before I knew it I was about 10 yards away from the top! I was SO tired!

Then I heard my friends and classmates cheering me on! Finally, I made it! I was at the top! I was full of excitement!

At the top it was beautiful! I could see our campsite and everyone there were tiny ants!! We finally got back down! Some people swam and some did not but I know we had a great time!

Written by Allison Fields

Big Dunes

We had just hiked out of a tiny, weird forest. Looked up and thought to ourselves, “Yes, finally the big dune.” So we started hiking up the traitorous mountain of sand. The long walk was horrid; we had ached feet and the fact that we were standing in an oven as if we were delicious mouth watering cupcakes, was reality.

We fought through all of that to fulfill the achievement of climbing up big dune. Furthermore, despite all of that, did I mention the fact that the dune was getting steeper every step. About half way up the dune, it felt as if a hand was grabbing your foot and was going to suffocate you under the sand every step.

I realized that I could give my feet a break if I crawled on my hands and knees the rest of the way. However I had heard something from the top of the mountain shouting, “Whoa!” That motivated and inspired me. I got up and ran to the top of the big dune. I was the second one up the terrifying, dangerous mountain of sand. This was the best field trip in history!

Written by Sam Yeakly

THE DUNES

Starting up the Sand Dunes, I told myself that I was never going to make it up there, but I kept my pride very strong and started the journey. I finally caught up to our teen leader, Colton, and he just kept me going. The sand was scorching my whole body and my legs felt like they were being ripped off of me. As I looked up, I thought that I was so close, but in real life, I was not even close to the top; I thought I could just die right there. But as I kept talking to Colton, he just kept my mind off of all the aching and painful things, so I am very thankful of Colton. Guess what? I did! I was the very first one to get to the very top!

Written by Makayla Hiser

Bruneau Dunes State Park

As I started to climb the big dune, I realized it was bigger than I thought. When I was about a fourth of the way up, it had been about 5 minutes. If I was on the small dune I would have been up and sliding down by now. I finally reached the top and had to rest for a minute or two. I was so tired; I did not want to go back down. I looked down and saw little specs in the distance. I started to run back down the side of the dune, knowing that I would have to climb all the way back up. I slowly crawled back up and stood at the top of the humongous mountain of sand. I was grateful to be there. I crawled to the summit of the mountain of sand and stared down at the people. I look to my left and saw a huge vortex. I wait for my turn for the sled, and soon it comes. I hop on the sled and slide down the mountain. I started to go sideways and it scared me for a moment, but then I straightened back out, and quickly slid straight into the vortex. At the end, I got caught on a pile of sand and flew face first into the sand. I watched other people slide down the mountain and crash, too. I laughed a couple of times. I was so happy to be there.

Written by Connor Stafford

Bruneau Sand Dunes

The big dune was way bigger than it looked from the campsite. Breathlessly, I found myself climbing it — each step tiring legs burning, but I kept moving. Once I got to the top, it was an amazing view. The first thing I saw was my friend, Thaine, rolling down the hill. As I watched him roll down, more people had climbed to the top. Finally, it was my turn on the sled! Hesitantly, I climbed on the sled and was on my way! I flew so fast that I almost took out another kids legs, but luckily, he moved out of the way. We spent much of the time playing on the dunes, and the rest rest of the day swimming and running down a crater. It was one of the best moments ever! I would recommend going to the Bruneau Dunes to everyone! It was some of the most fun moments of my life.

Written by Tristan Aspiazu

Nice, Hot Showers

Pitch black, dusk and dim. Faint from the sun. The air was clean. No factories around polluting the air with the disgusting smells from the chimneys. The air being clean, it was easier to breathe. Deep breathe in, deep breathe out. Off I go, as fast as I could. Racing down the trail ahead of me to get to the campsite before anyone else. My mission was to get to the showers first, before the hot water was drained out, and I would have to take a shower in cold water. In my head I thought, “What if I took off my shoes, I can run faster without them at home, why not here?” The rocky trail leading me to camp had thorns, so it wasn’t a very smart idea. Either way, I still had to make it to the campsite first. Equipped with our new head lamps, from playing BINGO on the bus earlier that day, I ran like a cheetah chasing a gazelle. The lights helped us see in the dark, so we sort of knew where we were going. “AHH!!!!!!!” Aylin screamed because Jacob, Aaron, and Connor were hiding in the bushes and jumping out ahead of her meaning to scare her. It was working alright. We ran as fast as we could. Aylin ran because she was scared, and I ran because I desperately wanted the first shower. “Yes, finally!” I made it to the campsite. To my bag and off I go. I thought to myself as I approached my tent. I reached in and grabbed my bag. Off I went to the showers. I turned on the water to take a shower. The water was nice and hot. Talking to the other girls in the shower room, Emmaleigh starts singing. Before she even gets in the shower. Ya, she was in her stall but she was not in the water yet. Of course we couldn’t understand what she was singing because of the other three showers running. We couldn’t see very well either. Since the showers were hot there was steam filling the air. If there were lasers we would be able to see them crystal clear. Long red lines shooting across one side of the shower room to the other. When I picked up my glasses, cold water dripped on my hand. The steam had fogged up my glasses. Knowing it had been a long, hard day, the relief went through my body like a tingle in my toe. My hair clean. No more sand in my ears or in my eyes; it felt good. A good day — all for a hot, relaxing shower to look forward to when the job is well done!

Written by Abby Kuhn

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My Sandy Experience!!!

As I shouted with joy, I could feel the wind whistling in my ears! I never had so much fun, or had so much energy! As I slid down the sand down into the vortex, I suddenly felt myself fly into the air! I put my hands up and marveled at the feel of the wind passing through my fingers! Unfortunately, the feeling ended as I crashed face-first into the sand and kept on rolling and tumbled into a pile of tumbleweeds! It may had been only a few seconds, but I loved every bit of it!

I don’t think that I can remember a time where I had so much fun! I never had so much energy; I don’t think I paused to stop playing in the sand, rolling down the dunes! The bad thing? Knowing that the next morning, I would be waking up to bed full of sand! (That actually happened, let me tell you, it did NOT feel good…) I didn’t want the moment to end, so I went back up the sand dune to go another time! “I wish I had gotten a video of that!” Ms. Golden exclaimed! I never got the chance to go down again, but I did get a chance to barrel-roll down the steepest part of the sand dune! The results were that I got a mouthful of sand in my face! It was worth it, though!

When we finally left the dunes, we walked down to the lake. I hopped, no, I JUMPED in the lake! Immediately, I was numb all over; the lake was freezing cold! There were only a few people that went up to their shoulders, including me. The girls who were in the lake as well, swimming as if the cold didn’t bother them! Well, EXCUSE ME, but I was freezing my butt off in that lake! Even though I had fun swimming in the lake, I was more than happy to get out and dry off!

I definitely know that I would be coming back with my family! Plus, judging from everyone’s reactions and expressions, they all enjoyed it! I also want to thank Ms. Golden and Ms. Cayler for letting us go to Bruneau Dunes! Also thank you to everyone who helped along the field trip!

Written by Jessica Hough

Reunion

When I saw him I nearly laughed, he was still as small as ever, he had matured a bit more but he still looked and acted like the old Dexter everyone knew. “DEXTER” everyone had shouted. He had been one of my best friends, until he had moved away and transferred to another school. I was excited, and I couldn’t believe that he was here. Before he had moved away, we would have deep, intellectual conversations about a game called Terraria. We would discuss its innermost secrets, its code, and its design. We were quickly back at it again. Almost as if he had never left, we struck up a conversation, spilling the contents of our brain’s strategies and theories. We decided on what would and would not work until we could come to a conclusion on the best strategy. Or if we became tired of that, we would speak with each other about its inner workings. If he had not come to Bruneau Dunes, then we would not have had as great a time.

We had set up a tent together, working hard so that we could flourish together. The way we worked was as if we were one, never having to say much, just having to look at each other to give a silent command. We climbed up the dunes together, we slid down together, we even ate together. During that field trip we were as thick as thieves. If I had to say what my favorite part about this field trip was, I would have to say, meeting Dexter again after he left. Although it was saddening to see him go again, I am full of gratitude. I still miss him though.

Written by Carter Woodland

It’s The Journey That Counts!

“I now realize that we are finally getting along, like our group and your group has never been getting along and hanging out with each other, but now we are!” Kate said. “Yeah, now I realize that we are! It’s like this field trip brought us back together!” I said. We all have been connecting when we were on that field trip. We all played together, we also talked more to each other. The 6th grade was finally getting along with the whole class, not in just our own little groups. It was just like old times when we were little. We would always play and do everything together and I mean almost everything.

It was quite the journey at Bruneau Sand Dunes. We all had so much fun in the warm or wet, cold sand. We buried our fellow classmates such as Aaron, Sam, Keirsten (A.K.A. myself), Jacob, Aylin, Destiny, and many more students. Some of us swam with each other and it was pretty fun. We all thought that it was going to be a challenge to climb the Big Dune after we climbed the Small (Medium) Sand Dune, but eventually we all made it up there.

It seemed that our teachers, Ms. Golden and Ms. Cayler, planned a really great field trip. If it wasn’t for them, we would not have had that much fun and we would not have hung out together, more than we ever had. We were by each others side to achieve something awesome like having the greatest time of our lives or to be the first one up the Sand Dunes.

Our classmates had a big part in this; they cheered us on when we were ready to give out. it was not just yourself that got us up the dunes, it was also our friends to help us with the journey. Just like they always say, “IT’S THE FRIENDS WE MEET ALONG THE WAY, THAT HELP US APPRECIATE THE JOURNEY” (www.pinterest.com) or “LET’S FACE IT, friends MAKE LIFE A LOT MORE fun!” (Chuck Swindoll) It is true, friends make us appreciate the journey and make life fun. That’s what we were doing for each other making life fun and appreciative. I guess you can say that life would have no meaning without friends by your side to help you with the little things in life.

Written by Kiersten Sauce

Painful and exhausting

It was blazing hot that day, and we had to hike up the big dune! I didn’t think it would be that hard, but it turned out to be painful and exhausting. When I arrived at the middle of the dune, I waited for my parents so we could go up together and take pictures of the family and of the beautiful view. When I got up to the top, I walked over to the vortex and ran down into the center of it and did animal impressions. That made a lot of people laugh!

Written by Hunter Campbell

Bruneau Sand Dunes

I had been waiting for this field trip all my life, and it was just such an amazing experience! The dunes were great and so was the observatory. We all gathered into a room with huge windows. A scientist taught us about the earth and stars, and when a bunny popped out of nowhere, it stole everyone’s attention. “Are there no bunnies in Notus?” asked the scientist that was in the middle of his presentation about the stars. Then, with just a blink of an eye, the bunny was gone.

Written by Aylin Alvarez

The Flat Tire

BOOM, “what happened”, I Exclaimed! I thought it sounded like a piece of metal hit the ground and bounced up, but our bus driver was not sure what it was. So, our bus driver slowly and calmly changed lanes until she could pull over to the side of the road. All the students were up, and out of their seats wondering what happened, full of excitement. Sure enough, the bus had a flat tire. Luckily there was a police officer near and he came to see what happened and help. The police officer followed the bus all the way to the Flying J. rest stop, to make sure we were safe. After we made it there, the bus driver called a bus mechanic. Then, we called our parents to come pick us up, but I did not want to leave because I was having a good time with my friends. And to this day, I think that was the best bus ride ever!

Written by Tyler Stephens

A teacher’s tumble

Bruneau is a fun park that has mountains made of sand that you can climb. This year, my 6th grade class, (class of 2023) received the privilege to camp at the dunes. It is recommended by all and is super fun! If you bring sleds, you can slide down the dunes. However it is more fun if you go up the big dune and slide down it. My favorite part was S’mores, sliding down Bruneau, sleeping, and hanging out with friends. The funny part was when my teacher, Ms. Golden, jumped on the sled to slide down the dunes and fell off and kept rolling and rolling and rolling. I’m happy she was okay and was laughing, too!

Written by Jaden Haskell

Climbing the Big Dune!!

Climbing the big dune is breathtaking! It will suck all of the air out of you, and you will feel like frozen ice. Also, as you are climbing the big dune, your legs will feel like they are getting crushed and broken into pieces and it does not feel good and burst into flames. However, it’s worth it because you get to sled down the dunes, too. I slid down a little hill and 3 seconds later you hear BOOM! I crashed and like one pound of sand filled up my mouth. But at the end of the day we are all just a little family, and it’s just fun being with people you know.

Written by Aaron Jimenez

Flat tire on the bus

“Do we have to go Ms.Golden?” I asked. She replied “Yes, I know it is hard to leave.”

There we were on the bus, heading home, but no one really wanted to leave. Everyone was tired. I was sitting by the aisle, talking to a couple of my friends. We were talking about how much we enjoyed the field trip. I was in the middle of my sentence, and all you hear is, “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!” When the first BOOM went off I thought that someone had dropped something, but then there were two more BOOMS, and that’s when I knew something was wrong. Ms.Golden calmly said, “Everyone calm down, Ms.Thueson (the bus driver) is going to check out what’s going on.”

We pulled over on the side of the freeway so Mrs.Thueson could check the tire to make sure everything was ok. She came back on the bus and said, “We have a flat tire and we are going to have to manage to the next exit. We are going to stop at Flying J and we will fix the tire.” A moment later a police officer escorted us to Flying J, to make sure that everyone got there safely. As soon as we got there, we all had to use the restroom, so, we all jumped out of our seats into the aisle ready to jump out of the bus like a pack of monkeys escaping the zoo. Before we were able to exit the bus, the police officer came back on the bus.

He said, “Where ya’ll going?”

We replied, “We are going to use the restrooms, sir.”

He said, “Do you think Flying J is ready for you?”

We all smiled and replied, “YES!”

He said, “Well, I will walk you in.”

Then, we went outside and called our parents to come get us. While we were waiting for our parents, we played a game of football in the little grassy spot. As soon as I saw my ride pull in, I felt a big relief come off my shoulders. Bruneau Dunes was fun, but the ride home was a little frightening. I’m so thankful that Mrs. Thueson was driving and knew what to do.

Written by Kylee Williams

DUNES!!

“Right here is where you sink,” Carter exclaims. The fifteen minute hike that changed my life was located at the Bruneau Sand Dunes. I had climbed the smaller dune and that kicked my tail. The BIGGER dune tripled its size. It did not look that big from the camp, but boy was I wrong. I started the hike. Sticking my fingers in the sand and bear crawling up. I honestly thought I was at the top, but again, I was wrong. I barely was even an eighth of the way up and sweat was running down my face. I was getting closer. Every step made me breathe harder, and made me more fatigued. I was about twenty feet away, and I started to slide and sink. My mind wandered, I could barely get up out bed, partly because the air mattress deflated and I was sleeping on the ground half of the night, and now I had to walk up a steep hill, covered in a quick sand consistency. The last ten feet took me five minutes in itself, because of how steep it was. Finally, I reached the top. It was the most accomplishing feeling I have ever felt in my whole twelve years of existence! I took a few pictures and soaked in the beautiful view that God made. Then, I decided to run down, my feet where going very fast (rare occasion) they were going to fast to keep my body up, and I biffed it hard (not very rare)! Feeling confused and very dizzy, I had to get back up and continued to play with my friends. This trip is recommended by me and a lot of my friends. It was a blast!

Written by Blake Carpenter

Bruneau Sand Dunes

At Bruneau, we saw birds, sand, fresh air, and THE DUNES. Up there are dunes, sand dunes, and Notus was climbing them (and it is hard)! When you get up there, you get about five feet up and you get tired. When you complete it, you have a relieving feeling over you. When the warm air hits you, it is nice. We had a sled, and I went on it first, and I could feel the adrenalin running throughout my body. It felt like I was flying! I would feel the sand hitting my face and the sand in my hands. The trip to Bruneau Sand Dunes was amazing!

Written by Sebastian Tibbets

Pellets or poop?

After a while it was time for our educational classes. I was so curious what we were going to learn, so Ms. Golden told us to gather around the table and read us a book about SCAT. Everybody’s expressions were “ewww”. Then Ms. Golden said we’re going to learn about POOP, so she pulled out samples of poop (AKA: Scat)., I wasn’t for sure if it was real or not. Then, she gave us cards to identify what poop (scat) the animal came from. We worked together to match them up, and we got most of them correct. Then, when it was time, we discovered that the poop was fake and that they were rubber samples. Boy, were we relieved. The next class was dissecting animal pellets which was KING OF COOL, but also gross.

Madilynn Tybo

The Observatory

¨Ok, class itś time to unbury Jacob!¨ shouted Ms.Golden. Does that mean itś time to go to the observatory, I thought.

As I drifted through the slightly warm sand, I thought of all the interesting objects at the Observatory.

After I finally arrived, I saw a human sun dial which tells you the time it is using the sun. That was cool and really worked. We also observed the sun using a special type of telescope. Then finally, we observed the fifth planet, Jupiter.

Although the Observatory was amazing, it wasn’t as special as when I forgot my sprinting jacket and my father took me back to the Observatory to attempt to locate it. When we got there, the staff showed us two galaxies merging together. It reminded me of a war.

Although this experience was special, the thing that made it really special was that I was with my father! Thanks for going with me, dad!

Written by Flynt Adamson

The Big Dune

I thought to myself I can’t do it , all of my friends were almost there, but then Sallie, Charity, and Katelyn yelled to me from up on the big dune, “You can do it, Clara!” Then, I looked down only to see Allison sitting at the bottom of the dune, so I yelled out to her, “Allison come up, you can do this.” She shook her head at me “no.” I kept going. It wasn’t easy because the sun was beating on my back and my legs were shaking from rolling and crawling up and down the little Dunes the day before.. The next thing I knew, I WAS AT THE TOP! After going through all the pain and the agony, I did it! I saw Mrs. Golden at the summit of the dune, so I crawled up to the summit. I felt so happy — I’m afraid of heights, but I faced my fears and you can face your fears too.

Written by Clara Leavitt

Conquering my Fear on the Biggest Bruneau Sand Dune

Dropping my survival bag on the sand, there it sat before me, the biggest sand dune EVER! I sprinted up the sand dune like a road runner, feeling the burning in my legs. “ Keep going, you got this!” Said Mrs. Campbell, ( Hunter Campbell’s Mom). After sprinting HARD I sat for a minute telling myself “You got this, just keep going.” I felt nervous because I have a fear of heights. I kept going though. Having half the sand dune left, I looked down, and I felt like I could puke. That’s how high I was off the ground! I was starting to PANIC!!!

I wanted to go down, but Hunter’s Mom was still cheering me on. So of course, I sprinted up again, but this time kept going up the dune without stopping! Oh boy, how my legs burnt like raging fire! But there was no stopping myself now. I had to keep going at this speed.

A few steps ( more like a MILLION) later, I made it to the top! I screamed at the top of my lungs, “ I DID IT!!!!”

That’s what I call an epic way of conquering a fear moment.

Written by Abie D.

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