This summer my family and I took the classic American road trip vacation, a little highway loop in a packed Honda Pilot highlighted by three nights tent camping in Yellowstone. We didn't see any Grizzly or Wolf but we did see thousands of tourists gawking at Ol' Faithful and taking cell phone snapshots of lone buffalo wandering by the laundry mat. Joking aside, Yellowstone with all its faults is for me one of those rejuvenating and reflecting places where its easy to remember the importance of time with family, the value of connecting to nature, and how awesome our country is at its best.
But the most unexpected bright spot of the trip was the drive home. Guided by Google maps we traveled down the western border of Wyoming on a two lane highway. As we approached the Colorado border my wife and I looked at each other, surprised to see that the road was soon turning to dirt. There's a joy to driving dirt roads but also some preparation involved and this one hit us completely unaware. We made it home of course but the 30+ miles though the desolation that surrounds Irish Canyon made for an interesting return to Colorful Colorado - no cars, no houses, no people, no anything! When we finally hit Craig we felt like we were approaching a metropolis!
The whole thing got me thinking about road maps. If you're on a journey its best to know exactly where you want to be at the end. Its even better to know what trouble spots you might hit along the way. Its best to know if the road will soon turn to dirt so you can be sure to have a full tank of gas and good tires.
Every school year is a journey. We have a road map of how we will support our students as they develop as scholars, as ethical and caring people, and in the care and pride they show in their work. Our map tells us how we will get to where we want to be as a school, defines who is doing what, and includes road signs to measure our progress along the way.
We hope our students and families are also thinking about their personal journeys. Where do you want to go? How will you get there? What will you do when you find yourself on a dirt road in an isolated canyon?
We can't wait to get to work as a Cougar Crew this fall!