A Time for Reflection

Alzar School | 23.03.22

Semester 20 students recently completed their first round of expeditions based in Chile. Students and several staff members traveled by bus to Southern Chile along the Carretera Austral to backpack in Patagonia National Park and raft on the Rio Baker. Soon, our students will be on a plane back to the United States to finish out their semester in Idaho. 

After the expedition block and upon re-entry into their formal academic classes, students are re-energized, exuberant, and ready to tackle their “normal” routine. Our Semester 20 students are far from “normal”; they are exceptional in many ways, holding their peers accountable and showing the best versions of themselves each day. 

Academic classes during expedition.

In the Capstone Leadership class, teachers Hallie Holland and Jesse Moore asked students to ‘reflect on a time when you were your best self or acted as a leader on expedition’. Bella said, “During expedition, I learned what I am capable of and how much I am able to push myself both physically and mentally.” Jamie said that he was his best self on expedition because he learned that backpacking is a great way to get to know people. “Talking is such a big thing while on the trail and you get to know a lot about people and make better personal connections you might not otherwise have been able to,” he explained. Paige felt like her best self when she “summited a mountain on a day hike” and was able to share the experience with her friends.  

Following the leader, backpacking in Patagonia National Park.

Sometimes expeditions simply show students how attitude can change the way you view situations. Jianna reflected that, “I learned that I don’t need to ignore challenges and difficulties to stay positive. I can make the most of every moment (good and bad) and still be positive and approach things with excitement.” Zach simply noticed “how much positivity and optimism I could bring to the group.”

Indeed, keeping a good attitude has been a consistent feature of this semester’s cohort, and we cannot wait to see what our next expedition block in Idaho will have in store for this group of intrepid leaders. But first, they must navigate international travel yet again, only this time, they do so as a more self-aware and cohesive group. 

Be sure to ask the Alzar School student in your life about their most powerful expedition reflections.