There are very few perfect moments in the course of the school year, especially at the end. The past four days probably qualify as some of the most perfect days with students. Most people that I told I was spending four days on the river with 20 middle school students thought I was nuts! What they don’t know and what most people fail to realize is that the outdoors have a transformative effect on kids. We ask them to sit in desks and soak information for an insane amount of hours each year, hoping that straight rows, ‘good textbooks’ and the proper discipline model will accomplish the goal (which seems to be high test scores). But, if you were on my trip the last four days you would rethink everything about the nature of learning and kids. Coming back from excusions like this become harder and harder because I KNOW without a doubt that kids are too patterned, regulated and standardized at school. I KNOW that there is a better way to learn than sit and get. I KNOW that I want to be a part of something that allows kids to learn by experience, connected to that which they are learning about (as much as humanly possible). Nature has a way of bringing out the essence of a person and I was lucky enough these past few days to be part of a transformative moment for everyone involved in the process! A special shout out to our PHENOMENAL guides… Pam, Jeri, Jerry, Aaron, Julia and Mark. A monumental debt of gratitude to Angela for taking personal time to accompany and assist the group. Finally, to the fabulous GCY staff… Emma, Reid and Chantal… we would not have been able to do it without you!