By Peyton Wright
Ask any Colorado College upperclassman, and they will tell you they still vividly remember their first-year Priddy Trip. They recall their own Priddy experiences as being a time to build friendships, explore cool places, and volunteer in the Southwest Communities. The beginning of Block 1 means that CC first years now have Priddy stories of their own.
Some of the goals of Priddy trips, according to CC, are to give first-year students an opportunity to meet other students and begin to develop friendships, to promote a positive attitude about entering CC, and to challenge their abilities while developing a sense of civic duty.
This year’s trips involved nearly 600 participating students who traveled all over the Southwest. Some groups went to areas nearby in Colorado, such as the CC cabin and the Catamount Center, while others traveled hours on buses to distant places like Rocky Mountain State Park and Santa Fe, NM.
Each trip was four days long and was composed of two service days, along with a “cultural day” that allowed students “to explore the local surroundings as a group and immerse themselves in the local community and location,’’ according to CC’s website.
Trips varied from urban locations, where students slept indoors with access to facilities, to “camping tier 2” and “beginning backcountry” which in some cases meant no access to bathrooms or showers of any kind over the four days.
During the trips, more than 8,000 hours of community service were performed, helping more than 36 Southwest community partners.
This year, one common struggle first-year students faced was working at high altitude. New students, especially those who are not from an elevated area, really felt the difference.
“Hiking at altitude was incredibly difficult” said Clara Sato ’23, a Wisconsin native. Despite the lack of oxygen, she said the trip was worth it.
Isabell Osborne ’23, who is from Pueblo, Colo., said she “worked on Missouri mountain at 12,000 feet building trails to protect the local environment.” She said her favorite part was“the actual service work because it felt like [she] was doing something worthwhile in the community.”
Other students said their favorite parts were their cultural day, making new friends, the evening group talks, and hiking.
The consensus among first years was quite positive; the class agrees that the trip was a fun experience and reflected the CC administration’s attempt to begin to foster a sense of community before the year started.
Around campus, first years are still wearing their yellow Priddy wristbands with pride.