Last week I accompanied eight clients to the Black Hills of South Dakota. For four days and three nights we had the opportunity to experience some amazing sites and learn about the rich history of the area. As a staff member it was both extremely exhausting and unbelievably rewarding.
After a six hour van ride we spent the first night discovering the town of Keystone. We enjoyed dinner at a local pizza parlor and explored souvenir shops. The second day was busy!We headed off to Wall, SD and investigated Wall Drug Store (http://www.walldrug.com/). What a cool place, the clients loved the atmosphere! Afterwards, we headed south to Badlands National Park (http://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm). We went on a hike but kept it short due to the heat. The clients also had a chance to explore the visitor’s center and learn about how the rocks were formed from water and what kinds of animals are in the park. After an exhausting day we enjoyed dinner at a BBQ joint and then went swimming at the cabins. Our last day in the area was really fun! We began the day at Bear Country U.S.A. (http://www.bearcountryusa.com/) a drive through wildlife park. The clients were thrilled to be so close to many different types of animals. After spending the morning seeing the animals we headed over to Mount Rushmore (http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm). The clients loved the avenue of flags and learning about the different Presidents on the monument. Our last night was spent relaxing, swimming, and preparing for the return trip in the morning.
Once we got back to Denver and all was said and done, I think things went well. My highlight was having one of the clients (who was initially unsure if he wanted to go) tell me he didn’t want to go home, he was having so much fun! That comment made the trip worth it, exhaustion and all.
Carly Colgan, Community Participation Team Leader