Time away from home for young people can change lives.  Student travel is an integral part of the CELC education.  Each year at CELC, students take a year-end trip, spending a few days and nights in a brand new place.  This year, we spent one glorious week at Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, Vermont.

From the moment we arrived we were impressed with this facility, part of an over 1000-acre parcel of land host to Aloha Foundation’s three different camps that began in the 1920s.  During the school year, Hulbert Outdoor Center occupies one of the camp facilities, offering adventure-based learning and teambuilding programs to youth.

Each day CELC students enjoyed and were challenged by a variety of activities, including wilderness skill building, forest and ecology classes, archery, a program about the Underground Railroad, lots of group games, and a high-ropes challenge course.  This, plus an amazing variety of well prepared and plentiful home-cooked food made for quite a week together.

Here are some of the student’s own impressions:

I can’t believe we are on this trip.  The forest is beautiful, and I am with all my buddies.  I look forward to team-building exercises, like the liquid nitrogen game.   – Jakob


When we got to Hulbert, CELC was met by two people who seemed to run the place.  Their names are Shannon and Jake.  Jake had what was later going to be called THE BEARD …

Day Two

I opened my eyes at 5 a.m. and started journaling for twenty minutes while waiting for others to get up.

A glorious breakfast … there were waffles, whipped cream, and strawberry sauce.  I made a waffle sandwich with a ton of whipped cream!

Day Three

After dinner, we went on a journey called the Underground Railroad.  We acted as runaway slaves and went to three different safe houses, where we were kept safe and given information about the real Underground Railroad.    – Cole


The most exciting thing that happened to me was not only the long hike for seven hours, but also our Underground Railroad adventure.  We were acting as slaves on the run and would stop at safe houses.  A bounty hunter was trying to catch us.  At each safe house there were different activities …                                                  – Anton


Wow! What a great first day at Hulbert.  When we first got here, we met our counselors Jake and Shannon.  We played a few games and then had lunch.  The food here is good.

Next we went on the low ropes course.  Two people at a time had to figure out how to wok together to complete an obstacle course tied to trees.

Amazing!  Another great day at Hulbert.  Yesterday we did archery.  That was by far my favorite thing of the day.  I got three bull’s eyes and three in the red.  We then went to aquatics.  While there, we also got to go inside a cabin and see Jake’s rescued baby squirrel.  She climbed on me and licked me!

I love Hulbert!  Today we hiked for seven hours.  We found two red salamanders, one toad, and dozens of bugs.  We hiked up a really tall mountain and it was hard.  After the hike, we had recreation time and then had dinner.                                     – Julia


Today I did so much at this wonderful camp.  I had a lot of fun on the low ropes course.  It was very challenging at the same time.  I did not think I would make it as far as I did.  It was hard when my partner and I both had to go together.  Another cool thing we did was play a new version of camouflage.  There was a powerful wizard that could vanish instantly, but the wizard could only vanish when no one was looking at him, so I had to look at him when he couldn’t see me doing it.  It was really fun.  I got spotted in the first round!   – Nolan


Yesterday we did a few different challenges, but I did have a favorite – it was the night walk.  We all wore bandanas so we could not see and had to walk in a line together to get to a secret place.  When we got there, we kept one eye closed and went inside a cabin where there was only a little bit of light.  When we opened the closed eye, we had perfect night vision!                                                  -Liam