This fall, eighth grade students from the Telluride Mountain School backpacked through the picturesque canyons of Grand Gulch in Southeast Utah. The group learned how to pack a pack, cook with a camping stove, read topographical maps, and keep a tidy campsite by following “leave no trace” guidelines. In addition, they strengthened leadership skills and learned to support each other as a team. While the trip contained many physical challenges, students developed confidence in tackling their fears of the unknown and managed to extend their physical thresholds. Historical studies also played a large role in the trip. Students visited ruins of ancestral Puebloan sites to learn more about the lifestyles of these people. After learning the migration theory behind the mass exodus of the Cedar Mesa population, students discussed how limited resources may create conflict within a society and made comparisons to modern difficulties with population and resource distribution. They also discussed some of the stories surrounding the Green Mask, which is unique in its use of colored paint. Throughout, students found the trip physically and academically challenging, but also thrilling and rewarding. It was a classic opportunity for the students to live up to the school’s work hard, play hard motto.