As part of their 11th grade Sawtooth Trip in late September, Community School students helped Joe and Niels prep Bench and Fishhook huts for another busy winter. This is a new addition to the Community School’s Outdoor Program, and we’re so happy to have their help! Led by former SVT guide Patrick Graham, who is now the Outdoor Program Director for Community School, the students helped rebuild the hot tub wood shack at Fishhook, as well as clean both Fishhook and Bench Huts inside and out, stack firewood, and more.
Sun Valley Trekking has had a long-standing relationship with Community School, which rents our huts annually for outdoor education. Students from 4th grade to 12th grade get to experience winter backcountry life in the local mountains with the added support (and fun!) of saunas and hot tubs, kitchens, outhouses, and a roof over their heads. Winter trips range from learning basic winter travel and safety skills at Boulder Yurt in the fourth grade to outdoor winter camping near Fishhook Yurt in ninth grade to avalanche safety and backcountry skiing at Bench Hut in eleventh and twelfth grade. And while Community School students go everywhere from the Olympic Coast to Glacier Park to Canyonlands on school outdoor trips, the 11th grade fall “Sawtooth Trip” is a chance for students to see and value the incredible playground that’s right out their back door here in Sun Valley through climbing, biking, and hiking – and they’re now giving back to that playground by helping us out at the huts.
Over the course of four beautiful fall days, different student groups hiked into either hut, where they put in some seriously hard work, demonstrating solid teamwork and leadership, and then hiked back to their base camp at Redfish Lake. It’s a great chance for the students to see what goes on behind the scenes at these huts they’ve visited many times and we can always use some help getting ready for the busy winter season.
Thanks Patrick and Community School! We can’t wait to see your staff and students in the backcountry this winter.